How Citizens are ensuring implementation of Governmental Spending
Every year, governments draw up financial budgets to channel the use of tax payers’ money in all sectors of the economy. In some countries, detailed reports are also provided how these funds were appropriated while in other countries, such information is regarded as state secret thus paving the way for corrupt practices. In Nigeria for example, a closer look at the 2017 budget revealed that sewage collection in a single government building increased by 765% with any clear justification. With the availability of open data, start-up companies, journalists, financial institutions and data enthusiasts are now able to independently track government spending. How can this be achieved and how can the process be made more efficient and accurate?
Budget information is usually provided in a long verbose document that cannot be easily understood by ordinary citizens and are not machine readable for analysis. A data driven company in Nigeria, BudgIT, recognized that it can achieve more transparency for current and planned projects with open data records to support companies in aligning their strategies with government spending. To achieve this, datasets such as historical federal and state financial budgets, inflation rates, tax revenues, government revenues, debts, loans, and record of actual government expenditure are used.
Advaneo Data Marketplace
Such a large set of financial information are not readily available from a single source. Gathering such data will involve an exhaustive search from various government portals such as ministry of finance, submission of Request for Information (RFIs) from various other sources. The Advaneo data marketplace offers:
Categorised Datasets: We provide over a million datasets from various government portals and global economic data. Each dataset has been processed to ensure they lead to valid accessible data endpoint and have been categorised for easier access.
Closed User Groups: Data mining, sorting and correlation tasks cannot be efficiently done in isolation. The Advaneo data Marketplace provides the option to create closed user groups where preliminary findings or datasets can be shared first with collaboration partners.
Security and Privacy: Financial data could sometime be classified as critical data especially if it provides insight to internal investment plans or strategy of companies. The Advaneo data marketplace architecture ensures datasets provided by companies remain private to the company as there is no repository of such datasets on the marketplace. Exchange of data occurs directly between a provider and user ensuring data sovereignty and governance by the data provider.
Tracking government spending not only provides more transparency with how tax payers’ money has been productively utilized, but also leads to better budget performance and prevent corrupt practices. The data, which is available on a single data marketplace, will help companies to reliably plan future business steps.