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Government Spending Data (Publication)

Volume 518: debated on Friday 19 November 2010

Today we have released all Government spend processed since the Government took office. This set of data is the key to so much that this Government wants to achieve—driving value for money by forcing accountability for every penny spent, encouraging competition and innovation in providing services and driving economic growth.

Starting from now, and updated every month, each Government Department will publish on www.Data.gov.uk every item of spending over £25,000. Some Departments are going even further by publishing everything over £500. Each item will be listed in detail, with the date of transaction, the value, the name of the contractor and the description of the good or service purchased.

It is our defining purpose to bring about a power shift in this country—to transfer control to individuals and neighbourhoods. Control over public services so people decide the things that really matter to them—the school they send their child to or the hospital they get treated in. And because information is power, transparency is a crucial part of this power shift. After all, it is information that lets people take on the political class, question them, demand answers and get those answers. It is information that lets people choose between different public services, increasing competition and raising standards.