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On Your Radar provides regular updates on information from central government and other key organisations; looks back over the last period, ahead at what could be hitting the headlines and comments on issues relevant to local government that will be influencing the political landscape over the coming months.
Upcoming briefings and links to key March briefings
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The Public Accounts Committee has published a report on the Government’s transparency agenda concluding that while it has met the majority of its commitments, large quantities of raw data are being released without ensuring that it is fit for purpose; with the Government yet to develop a full understanding of the cost and benefits of making information transparent.
- The report also makes a number of observations about how transparency is working in local government notably around consistency between councils and whether the information being published (or not) is supporting user choice.
- This briefing will be of interest to all executive members, cabinet portfolio members and senior officers both in corporate services (particularly in procurement, HR, finance and communication) and frontline services.
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities, seems to love transparency. Back in June 2010 he asked councils to publish all spending data over £500. His department matched it and just last week announced they were lowering …
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 …
This article was first published by the Huffington Post. Last week the Constitution Unit at UCL published a fascinating report, Town Hall Transparency, assessing the impact that Freedom of Information has had on local democracy and government in England. The study …
As the judges of last year’s Scrutineer of the Year award observed, it can be hard to pin-down exactly what we mean when we talk about ‘effective scrutiny’. On the one hand, we might view scrutiny as a purely process-oriented …
John Fowler takes a sceptical look at the DfE’s transparency website.
*UPDATE* DCLG have released an updated version of their very useful plain English guide to the Localism Bill. The updated guide includes changes made to the Bill as it passes through the Lords. You can read LGiU’s Localism Bill: a …
BBC News Parliamentary Correspondent Mark D’Arcy interviews Francis Maude MP, the minister responsible for public service reform, about transparency and his hopes for public mutual companies.
Open reflects a growing recognition that what matters is not the technology or the tools but the uses you put them to: the forms of engaging, doing and being that they enable and the way they increase and improve democratic participation for a growing number of people.