blog

OpenSpending News Round-up, August 19

Written by
  • Teodora Beleaga
Outdated Content Warning: This content refers to an older version of OpenSpending. See here for information about the next version of OpenSpending and ways to contribute.

Fiscal transparency never sleeps, and neither does the OpenSpending community. To keep track of all happenings across the open spending spectrum, we’re rounding up on latest blogs, stories and datasets each week. But we’re only human, so if we miss anything, give us a nudge at info [at] openspending [dot] org.

Updates from around the community

OpenSpending Community SnipWe’re expanding! The Open Spending community is on the hunt for News Editors to help spread the word about the outstanding work our members are engaged in, whether is cracking spending budgets in Nepal or putting together R-packages for our API. We are after volunteers who can turn fiscal and analytical geek speak into simple English and also have the ability to spearhead that into the social sphere. Sounds appealing? Then fill in this form by Friday, 23 August 2013. We look forward to having you on board!

Another thing that’s got us all going right now - and do pardon us if you are subscribed to our mailing list and have already been receiving numerous references to this activity tracking tool already -  [but] the various trello boards we use to keep track of OpenSpending activities are simply worth another mention. Members across the community have already started to engage with the boards by joining activity cards or creating cards themselves. Kudos go particularly to the News Team and  the Translation Group for their volatility and responsiveness. Want to join us on trello too? Read this first.

We are still awaiting several City Spending Party accounts and will share these with you as soon as possible. If you were part of the project and are yet to share your experience - Toronto and Tokyo, Tel Aviv and San Francisco, we are once again highlighting you and asking that you tell us about the great work in your city - [so] please get in touch info [at] openspending [dot] org.

Financial transparency around the world

As the decreasing US budget deficit hit headlines last week for reaching its lowest point in five years, the States’ national debt also got coverage for reaching no less that $16.7trillion. Sounds accurate? Did you visualise the US government spending? Are you planning to? Let us know in the comments below, at info [at] openspending [dot] org or by joining our mailing list.

From spill to partnership, following Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto proposals to loosen up ‘restrictive’ energy laws, the Wall Street Journal published a comprehensive Q&A post on what this means for both companies and consumers.

Turns out ‘fiscal discipline’ is finally leading the eurozone out of crisis, or so Berlin and Brussels are accounted to saying in this FT article. Do you think the eurozone is out of recession? Let us know in the comments below, at info [at] openspending [dot] org or by joining our mailing list.

Fear not! The Rupee is to be stabilised with a commitment to fiscal consolidation and a reduction in CAD (Current Account Deficit), was the Indian Finance Minister last week reported to have said. How does this news align with your analysis of the Indian budgets? Tell us in the comments below or join our mailing list and start the debate.

CISCO, the systems and network company, released revenue data on their final quarter and fiscal year 2013. Not your usual budget data, but quite interesting nonetheless.

A NIB that might be worth following up in order to track the exact source of spending cuts claims postmen and police community support officers are amongst those to be hit by a decreasing number of outdoor toilet facilities in Great Britain - allegedly caused by spending cuts.  What do you think? Ridiculous or outrageous? Either way, tell us in the comments below or at info [at] openspending [dot] org.

New datasets on OpenSpending Datasets

Last month saw the upload of tones of spending data from Moldova’s BOOST data to Catalonia’s latest budget and from Chennai’s City Budget to Portugal’s transactional spending data. Our team of data wranglers have been busy cleaning these up for you. You can track their progress and maybe give them a hand if you feel up to the challenge at https://github.com/openspending/datatoload/issues.

Interested in #opendata? More from the foundation here.

Did we miss anything?

While we strive to produce a comprehensive snippet of the fiscal transparency landscape across the world, this mammoth task gets the better of us every once in awhile. When that happens we trust we can rely on the wonderful community at the heart of OpenSpending to give us a nudge.