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Netherlands

Detailed Open Spending Data (NL0023)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Open State Foundation (OSF)

Support Institution(s): Provincial authorities, water management authorities, local authorities, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Interprovincial Consultative Committee (IPO), the Federation of Water Management Authorities (UVW) and the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG)

Policy Areas

Fiscal Transparency, Open Contracting and Procurement, Open Data, Right to Information, Subnational, Water and Sanitation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Netherlands Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Since 2015, provincial authorities, water management authorities and local authorities (the municipalities) have made their financial ‘Information for Third Parties’ (IV3) available through Statistics Netherlands/CBS and the website http://www.openspending.nl. It is already apparent that users such as officials, elected representatives, journalists and members of the public would appreciate more information in a greater level of detail. BZK therefore commissioned the Open State Foundation (OSF) to conduct a pilot project in which five local authorities published detailed financial data in a form suitable for reuse. The pilots have been successful: all stakeholders see added value in standardising financial information at this more detailed level.

With financial support from BZK, the Open State Foundation is now working to implement a system in which all provincial authorities, local authorities and water management authorities use a common publication standard. The original ‘detailed open spending data’ programme has been extended to include these various decentral authorities. The Ministry of BZK is supporting the activities as part of the broader approach to open government, and therefore offers a platform through the Open Government Expertise Centre (LEOO; see action point 9).

IRM Midterm Status Summary

5. Open about finances: detailed open spending data

Commitment Text:

Since 2015, provincial authorities, water management authorities and local authorities (the municipalities)have made their financial ‘Information for Third Parties’ (IV3) available through Statistics Netherlands/CBS and the website http://www.openspending.nl. BZK commissioned the Open State Foundation (OSF) to conduct pilots, that have been successful: all stakeholders see added value in standardizing financial information at this more detailed level. OSF is now working to implement a system in which all provincial authorities, local authorities and water management authorities use a common publication standard. The original ‘detailed open spending data’ programme has been extended to include these various decentral authorities.

Milestones:

1. A handbook, an instruction video and a promotion video. The handbook will be sent to participating municipalities. The video’s will be made available online on the websites http://openspending.nl/ andwww.open-overheid.nl.

2. Three thematic pilots with local governments, to add context to the detailed open spending data. A minimum of three local governments will participate in the pilots. The pilots will be evaluated in a final report. The results of the pilots will also be published on the website: http://www.openspending.nl/.

3. Two national workshops on ‘Open Spending Data’ (one in 2016 and one 2017).

Responsible institution: Open State Foundation

Supporting institution(s): Provincial authorities, water management authorities, local authorities, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Interprovincial Consultative Committee (IPO), the Federation of Water Management Authorities (UVW) and the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG)

Start date: 1 January 2016 End date: 30 June 2018

Editorial Note: This is a truncated version of the milestone text. For the full commitment text, please see The Netherlands National Action Plan (https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Netherlands_NAP-Appendix_2016-2018_EN_revised-with-changes.pdf)

Context and Objectives

Financial data of all Dutch local governments are available on an aggregated level. This commitment aims to provide more insight on income and expenditure to make Open Spending Detail Data the new standard for financial transparency. Detailed open spending data refers to re-usable spending data, including budgets, annual reports, income, expenditure and revenue of all Dutch municipalities and regional authorities. The lead institutions, Open State Foundation (OSF) and the Quality Institute Dutch Municipality (Kwaliteitsinstituut Nederlandse Gemeenten, KING) XX[Note86: Association of Netherlands Municipalities, vng.nl/onderwerpenindex/dienstverlening-en-informatiebeleid/nieuws/king-heet-vanaf-1-januari-vng-realisatie.]XX, a subdivision of the Dutch umbrella organization of municipalities VNG, will contact and help governments release their detailed financial information on Openspending.nl and will expand functionality and improve user experience of the website.

The commitment involves three milestones: 1) a handbook, an instruction video and a promotion video; 2) three thematic pilots with local governments to add context to open data; 3) two national workshops. All milestones are measurable and have clear end dates and goals. As such, the commitment’s specificity is high. If all governments adopted this standard, it would be a break-through in open spending. The open spending portal was rewarded by OGP in 2016. XX[Note87: Making Transparency Count: The Open Government Awards, opengovpartnership.org/stories/making-transparency-count-open-government-awards.]XX In this evaluation, the IRM researcher focuses on the effect this commitment is likely to have on government practice, not on the strength of the concept. This commitment is assessed as having minor potential impact because it is limited in scale: pursuing three local government pilots is a positive step forward in open spending but is not a transformative change in overall government practice.

This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information by disclosing more detailed spending data and enabling the larger public to find and use them. Although this commitment does not meet the OGP criteria for public accountability, it is a big step forward for investigative journalists and democratically elected council members, who are able to use the disclosed financial information to hold public officials accountable.

Completion

Overall, this commitment is substantially complete and on time. The handbook that was distributed among all municipalities, and is available on request, is comprehensive. It explains exactly how data must be made available according to the standards and how they can be sent to the OSF website. Both the instructional and promotional videos are appealing and clear in presentation, but they are difficult to find. XX[Note88: Open Spending promotional video’s, vimeo.com/187259166,,vimeo.com/187251141.]XX The first of two national workshops was held at the 'How Open Festival.' XX[Note89: How Open Festival, open-overheid.nl/blokkenschema-hoe-open-festival/#rdv-calendar.]XX

OSF has blogged about the progress on open-overheid.nl. XX[Note90: OSF progress blog, open-overheid.nl/open-overheid/actieplan-open-overheid-update-10.]XX One pilot, in the city of Utrecht, is planned to be completed by the end of the year. Location data and context (explanation of what the data mean and imply) will be added to the spending information. XX[Note91: Utrecht Municipality, openspending.nl/utrecht-gemeente/UtrechtBegroting2017batenprogramma/2017/programma.]XX According to the OSF program manager, the program budget of the city of Dordrecht will be disclosed in a newly tested form. The province of Zuid-Holland will, according to the program manager, also participate in a pilot. Though there are no clear results released yet, the researcher finds that this milestone will be at least substantially completed by June 2018.

Next Steps

The IRM researcher recommends this commitment be taken forward into the next action plan, provided that it is modified in the following ways to increase its ambition. The government should consider developing a participatory budgeting interface, such as Decide Madrid, an open source civic technology platform created in 2015. The Municipality of Madrid developed Decide Madrid to enable citizens to propose, deliberate and vote on policies and city projects, and to ensure transparency in various government processes. XX[Note92: Decide Madrid, http://thegovlab.org/beyond-protest-examining-the-decide-madrid-platform-for-public-engagement/%5DXX The platform uses Consul, a free software for citizen participation. XX[Note93: Consul website, http://consulproject.org/en.%5DXX

The government should also expand the three pilots with local governments to a nationwide rollout of detailed open spending data. Additionally, CSOs and survey respondents have asked for more contextual information on spending data, such as subsidies.


Netherlands's Commitments

  1. Local Digital Democracy

    NL0028, 2018, E-Government

  2. Dilemma Logic

    NL0029, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Join EITI

    NL0030, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  4. Open Algorithms

    NL0031, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. Open Local Decision-Making

    NL0032, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. ‘Open by Design’ Pilots

    NL0033, 2018, E-Government

  7. Open Contracting

    NL0034, 2018, Open Contracting and Procurement

  8. Open Parliament

    NL0035, 2018, Audits and Controls

  9. Open Government Standard and Dashboard

    NL0036, 2018, E-Government

  10. Pioneering Network for an Open Government for Municipalities

    NL0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  11. Transparent Political Party Finance

    NL0038, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  12. National Open Data Agenda

    NL0019, 2016, Capacity Building

  13. Stuiveling Open Data Award

    NL0020, 2016, Open Data

  14. Groningen Open Data Re-Use

    NL0021, 2016, Infrastructure & Transport

  15. Releasing Ministerial Research Reports

    NL0022, 2016, Health

  16. Detailed Open Spending Data

    NL0023, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  17. Open Local Authority Decision-Making

    NL0024, 2016, Open Data

  18. Training Civil Servants on Public Participation

    NL0025, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Easier Freedom of Information Requests

    NL0026, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Open Government Expertise Centre (LEOO)

    NL0027, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Further Develop and Promote Disclosure and Use of Open Data

    NL0001, 2013, E-Government

  22. Increase Financial Transparency Through Open Budget and Experiments with Open Spending and Budget Monitoring

    NL0002, 2013, E-Government

  23. Open House of Representatives

    NL0003, 2013, E-Government

  24. Instruments for Integrity

    NL0004, 2013, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  25. Revamp the Legislative Calendar

    NL0005, 2013, E-Government

  26. More Online Consultation

    NL0006, 2013, E-Government

  27. More Transparency in Decision-Making Through Volgdewet.Nl Legislation-Tracking Website

    NL0007, 2013, E-Government

  28. Informal Approach to Freedom of Information Requests

    NL0008, 2013, Right to Information

  29. From Rules to Freedom

    NL0009, 2013, Public Participation

  30. Change Attitudes and Procedures Through Smarter Working and ‘Public Servant 2.0’

    NL0010, 2013, Capacity Building

  31. Water Coalition

    NL0011, 2013, Public Participation

  32. Develop and Implement Participation Policy at the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

    NL0012, 2013, Public Participation

  33. Make Government Information Accessible and Easy to Find

    NL0013, 2013, Capacity Building

  34. Make Citizens Better Informed and More Empowered: Public Inspection and Correction of Information

    NL0014, 2013, E-Government

  35. Open Announcements and Notifications

    NL0015, 2013, E-Government

  36. Public Services and the User Perspective

    NL0016, 2013, E-Government

  37. Designate Categories of Government Information for Active Access

    NL0017, 2013, Capacity Building

  38. Rethink Information Management and Active Access: Four ‘Open by Design’ Pilot Projects

    NL0018, 2013, E-Government