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OpenSpending News Round-up, September 2

Written by
  • Teodora Beleaga
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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 As we enter September we’re getting excited about OKCon, the annual OKFN conference taking place in Geneva on 16-18 September 2013. Highlights include a talk about the demand for open financial data (The World Bank), a panel on opening up procurement data (OKFN) and a workshop on what stories the public spending data should tell (Sunlight Foundation) - all taking place on Tuesday, 17 September 2013. Tickets information - should you wish to join - is available here. Community member, Félix Ontañón Carmona wrote a tutorial on producing spending flowcharts, in the form of sankey diagrams,  using d3.js and the OpenSpending aggregated API. This was a cross-post with PBS Ideas Lab Blog - a group blog by innovative new media thinkers including Stanford Knight Fellows and leaders from the MIT Center for Civic Media among many others. Elsewhere on the blog, Marc Joffe, OpenSpending community member, and principal consultant at Public Sector Credit Solutions, explained why New York is among the least likely cities to follow-up Detroit’s bankruptcy example and how the Empire State city has ensured avoidance of such crisis. Neil Ashton, our chief technical writer and analyst, has jump-started the move of OpenSpending blog content from http://openspending.org to http://blog.openspending.org, which should explain why you have been seeing seriously pixalated pictures and the like across the blog. Should you have the relevant technical skills and find the will to volunteer to help, please get in touch with Neil via twitter or by writing to our mailing list at openspending [at] lists [dot] okfn [dot] org. For spying purposes, we are tracing changes here. Financial transparency around the world Trading Economics published a rough visualisation of Indian Government Spending from 2004 to the first quarter of 2013 using data from the Central Statistical Organisation, India. This follows the news of the rupee’s “biggest fall in a decade” according to Quartz and the country’s slowest economic growth since 2009 according to Bloomberg. Public Spending UK released planned spending data for 2015 also accompanied by a selection of rough charts. You can download the data using their usual download tool at http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/download_raw. In the US, Slate followed up a NY Times article on elected officials’ (namely state comptrollers) investment dealings of taxpayers’ pension funds which they labelled “a match made in hell”. New datasets on OpenSpending Datasets Last week saw additional national budget data added from Japan, as well as city spending data uploaded from Lodz, Poland. There is still much data to be claimed from last month’s mammoth uploads of spending data from Moldova’s BOOST data to Portugal’s transactional spending data. Our team of data wranglers have been busy cleaning these up for you. You can track still their progress and maybe give them a hand if you feel up to the challenge at https://github.com/openspending/datatoload/issues. Did we miss anything? While we strive to produce a comprehensive snippet of the fiscal transparency landscape across the world, this mammoth task could easily get the better of us. Should that happen we trust the wonderful community at the heart of OpenSpending to give us a nudge at info [at] openspending [dot] org.