Soon all spending data over £250 will be published online

Since August 2010 the Department for Communities and Local Government  has been publishing details of all goods and services spent over £500 – matching a demand it made of councils in June of that year.

Now it appears Eland House is upping the ante. A press release came out today announcing the department is opening its book further still.

Now all spending data over £250 will be published online. Eric Pickles, Secretary of State said 

“I firmly believe the more open we are about spending the more we can root out waste, avoid duplication and increase value for money for taxpayers.

“Every member of the public has a right to know – and a right to challenge – how every penny of their hard earned cash is being spent by Government.

“Our quest for greater transparency has led us to set a new marker in the sand – from today our books will now be open right down to £250.”

The MJ reports (£) “DCLG guidance will shortly ask councils to disclose, on a monthly basis and for public consumption, all transactions of £250 or more – with the exception of commercially-sensitive material.  Ministers will turn into law the default £500 transparency requirement – introduced in 2010 – but have urged councils to begin publishing data according to the desired £250 threshold”.

Ministers have not made a formal announcement over the new and lower non-mandatory threshold – although they wrote to the Local Government Association explaining their proposal some time ago.

What are your thoughts on publishing council spending data online? Please leave your comments below.