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United Kingdom

Grants data (UK0068)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United Kingdom – Third National Action Plan 2016-18

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Cabinet Office

Support Institution(s): All grant giving government departments; 360Giving,NCVO, The Open Data Institute

Policy Areas

E-Government, Fiscal Transparency, Open Data

IRM Review

IRM Report: United Kingdom End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, United Kingdom Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Objective: Increased release of information about government grant making as open, machinereadable data.

Status quo: The government’s Grant Register was first published in January 2015 showing detail on government grants schemes for the 2013-14 financial year. The latest version of the register was published in February 2016 with information for the 2014-15 financial year. Collected by the Grants Efficiency Programme in Cabinet Office, the register includes the value of grant schemes and the type and number of recipients. While it is not fully comprehensive, and some of the information is estimated, the Grants Register provides a useful overview of the majority of government grants. The recently launched Government Grants Information System (GGIS) has been developed to enable recording of grant information across government in a simple, standardised and scalable way. It improves transparency and provides insight into grant spend enabling departments to manage grants efficiently and effectively, while actively reducing the risk of fraud. Access to the GGIS is limited to grant giving departments, and associated arms length bodies that give out grants on behalf of government. It is not open to the public.

Ambition: At present, we are concentrating on collecting and sharing the scheme and award level data internally across government via the GGIS and working with departments to improve the quality and quantity of that data. Going forward, and in line with the transparency agenda, we plan to make that data available publically via the Grants Register to improve availability of information. The quantity and the type of data provided will be dependent on agreements with the data owners, ie government departments.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

6. Grants data

Commitment Text: Government plans to collect more granular data on grant making. This will be in line with the 360 Giving Standard. In addition, the Grants Efficiency Programme in the Cabinet Office will publish more granular level data on Government Grants Expenditure at a scheme and award level. The quantity and type of data provided publicly will be determined following consultation and agreement with the data providers.

Objective: Increased release of information about government grant making as open, machine-readable data.

Status quo: The government's Grant Register was first published in January 2015 showing detail on government grants schemes for the 2013-14 financial year. The latest version of the register was published in February 2016 with information for the 2014-15 financial year. Collected by the Grants Efficiency Programme in Cabinet Office, the register includes the value of grant schemes and the type and number of recipients. While it is not fully comprehensive, and some of the information is estimated, the Grants Register provides a useful overview of the majority of government grants.

The recently launched Government Grants Information System (GGIS) has been developed to enable recording of grant information across government in a simple, standardised and scalable way. It improves transparency and provides insight into grant spend enabling departments to manage grants efficiently and effectively, while actively reducing the risk of fraud.

Access to the GGIS is limited to grant giving departments, and associated arm's length bodies that give out grants on behalf of government. It is not open to the public.

Ambition: At present, we are concentrating on collecting and sharing the scheme and award level data internally across government via the GGIS and working with departments to improve the quality and quantity of that data.

Going forward, and in line with the transparency agenda, we plan to make that data available publicly via the Grants Register to improve availability of information. The quantity and the type of data provided will be dependent on agreements with the data owners, i.e. government departments.

Milestones

1. Collate granular level data on grant schemes and grant awards on the GGIS (New May 2016- March 2017)

2. Publish more granular data sourced from the GGIS on grant schemes and grant awards (the quantity and the type of data provided will be dependent on agreements with the data owners, i.e. government departments) (May 2017 March 2018)

Responsible institution: Cabinet Office

Supporting institutions: All grant giving departments, 360Giving, NCVO, The Open Data Institute

Start date: May 2016

End date: March 2018

Commitment Aim:

The UK government began to open up its data around grant payments when it first published its grants register in 2015, a list of schemes involving grants run by government.[Note 49: Gov.uk, ‘Transparency data: Government grants register', https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-grants-register ] The new commitment aims to publish data at a more granular level. It is based on the 360Giving Standard, which aims to offer an open, simple and comprehensive way of publishing grants data.[Note 50: 360Giving, ‘The 360Giving Standard', http://standard.threesixtygiving.org/en/latest/# ] The commitment was wide ranging and there was some ambiguity in the language around exactly what would be published, and which departments would do it.

Status

Midterm: Limited

According to the government's July 2017 update, officials were working to “upload more granular level data to the GGIS, and to close any gaps which exist between scheme and award level data.”[Note 51: Cabinet Office, Open Government National Action Plan 2016-18:July 2017 Commitment Progress Updates (commitment update for July 2017) pre-publication passed to author. ] Officials have also held discussions and gathered data with stakeholders. CSOs praised the collaboration that took place and stressed the importance of individual relations between officials and civil society.[Note 52: Interview with Rachel Rank, 360Giving, 13 August 2017.] Departments were due to publish data in September 2017 and the government was on course to begin publishing data on the Government Grants Information System (GGIS). In October 2017, the Department of Transport and Department of Justice both published data under the 360Giving Standard.[Note 53: Cabinet Office (2017), ‘Press release: Government releases £100bn of grant data in push for greater efficiency and transparency', https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-releases-100bn-of-grant-data-in-push-for-greater-efficiency-and-transparency ]

Some departments have struggled, but CSOs hoped that the ‘big grant givers'' release of data (the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Transport) could encourage others.[Note 54: Interview with Rachel Rank, 360Giving, August 2017.]

End of Term: Substantial

This commitment was substantially completed with the release of data at scheme level by all departments, and complete publication under the 360 standards by the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Transport in 2017 described above. The final government update reported that other departments were also pushing forward with an ‘increase [in] their awards level data'. As of April 2018, they were ‘planning to publish the grants data in the autumn. However, they will not know whether individual departments are in a position to approve the publication of their awards data until later this year.' It also spoke of a ‘close, positive relationship between 360Giving and Government leads, which we should strive to replicate in other areas.[Note 55: UK government (2018), 2016-18 Open Government Action Plan: April 2018 Commitment Progress Updates, https://www.opengovernment.org.uk/resource/2016-18-open-government-action-plan-april-2018-commitment-progress-updates/]

However, there was disagreement over the meaning of the commitment. 360Giving did not agree with the assessment that the commitment was substantially completed, as only data for two out of 17 central departments had used the 360Giving Standard format.[Note 56: Response to consultation by Rachel Rank 360Giving.]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

As CSOs acknowledged, the commitment was wide ranging and would involve work, co-ordination and action across all government departments. It could, however, ‘theoretically...revolutionise our understanding of how much the charity sector gets from government'.[Note 57: Kirsty Weakley (2018), ‘How useful is the government's latest grants register', https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/voices/kirsty-weakley-how-useful-is-the-government-s-latest-grants-register.html#sthash.81XtXP6m.dpuf ] In terms of access to information, the commitment has gone some way to opening up a vital area of government spending. Before the commitment, data in this area was inconsistent and patchy. It has clearly ‘increased' the amount of data available, at a new level (award level) and, because of the 360 standards, in a way that is consistent across the departments. The commitment will continue outside of the implementation cycle, with more data due to be published in late 2018.

Concerns remain about the quality and what the data tells us. One piece of analysis argued that it was not ‘real transparency” and the data at present did not allow users to know what was happening with grant spending. Some entities have begun reporting in greater detail, but others have not. Compliance is inconsistent. In some ways, the data generated “additional confusion.” The assessment argues that the commitment acted as a sort of ‘half-way house...there is an agreed standard and format across government. If the 360Giving format is adopted properly it would make government grant-making truly transparent and easier to interrogate.”[Note 58: Ibid.]

Carried Forward?

The UK government's consultation on the national action plan for Open Government 2018-2020 proposed a further commitment around grants data to the transparency of government grant funding for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years. The plan is to have a continued process of release, as well as a co-ordination event to bring together important stakeholders to discuss new approaches.[Note 59: UK Government (2018), Consultation draft of the national action plan for Open Government 2018 – 2020, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XGUs6X8EHSOm00U-rX2_8cAoq7MnDsBjnetQeW0vnzA/edit#heading=h.y5i6179pcs8d ]


United Kingdom's Commitments

  1. Grants Data

    UK0090, 2019, E-Government

  2. Public Participation

    UK0091, 2019, E-Government

  3. Open Policy Making

    UK0092, 2019, Public Participation

  4. Open Contracting Data

    UK0093, 2019, E-Government

  5. Natural Resource Transparency

    UK0094, 2019, E-Government

  6. Innovation in Democracy Programme

    UK0095, 2019, Public Participation

  7. Sustainable Open Government

    UK0096, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Local Transparency

    UK0097, 2019, E-Government

  9. Beneficial ownership – UK

    UK0063, 2016, Beneficial Ownership

  10. Natural resource transparency

    UK0064, 2016, Extractive Industries

  11. Anti-Corruption Strategy

    UK0065, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  12. Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub

    UK0066, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  13. Open contracting

    UK0067, 2016, E-Government

  14. Grants data

    UK0068, 2016, E-Government

  15. Elections data

    UK0069, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Revising Freedom of Information Act Code of Practice

    UK0070, 2016, Open Contracting and Procurement

  17. Identifying and publishing core data assets

    UK0071, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  18. Involving data users in shaping the future of open data

    UK0072, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Better use of data assets

    UK0073, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. "http://gov.uk/","GOV.UK"

    UK0074, 2016, Open Data

  21. Ongoing collaborative approach to open government reform

    UK0075, 2016, E-Government

  22. Open Government at all Levels

    UK0076, 2016, OGP

  23. Open Policy-making and Public Engagement

    UK0077, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Public Sector Innovation

    UK0078, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. OCDS Implementation

    UK0079, 2016, E-Government

  26. Open-up Government

    UK0080, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Open data plan

    UK0081, 2016, E-Government

  28. Open data service

    UK0082, 2016, Capacity Building

  29. StatsWales

    UK0083, 2016, E-Government

  30. Data Research Centre Wales

    UK0084, 2016, E-Government

  31. Government Social Research Publication Protocol

    UK0085, 2016, E-Government

  32. Gov.Wales

    UK0086, 2016, E-Government

  33. Code of Practice in Supply Chains

    UK0087, 2016, Labor

  34. Starred commitment National Indicators for Wales

    UK0088, 2016, Fiscal Transparency

  35. Starred commitment Well-being duty

    UK0089, 2016, E-Government

  36. National Information Infrastructure

    UK0042, 2013, Records Management

  37. NHS England Website and Network

    UK0043, 2013, Health

  38. Revised Local Authories Data Transparency Code

    UK0044, 2013, Capacity Building

  39. Transparent Social Investment Market

    UK0045, 2013, Open Data

  40. Manage and Capture Digital Records

    UK0046, 2013, Capacity Building

  41. Starred commitment Cross-Government Anti-Corruption Plan

    UK0047, 2013, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  42. Starred commitment Company Beneficial Ownership Information

    UK0048, 2013, Beneficial Ownership

  43. Access to Police Records

    UK0049, 2013, Justice

  44. Transparency in Construction

    UK0050, 2013, Infrastructure & Transport

  45. Legislative Openness

    UK0051, 2013, Beneficial Ownership

  46. Whistleblowing

    UK0052, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  47. Open Contracting

    UK0053, 2013, Open Contracting and Procurement

  48. Open Contracting Scotland

    UK0054, 2013, E-Government

  49. Starred commitment International Aid Transparency

    UK0055, 2013, Aid

  50. Health Care Data

    UK0056, 2013, Health

  51. Open Policy Making

    UK0057, 2013, E-Government

  52. Sciencewise

    UK0058, 2013, E-Government

  53. Publication of Draft Legislation

    UK0059, 2013, Legislature

  54. OpenDataCommunities Programme

    UK0060, 2013, E-Government

  55. PSI Re-Use Directive

    UK0061, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  56. Starred commitment Extractive Transparency

    UK0062, 2013, E-Government

  57. Ensuring a clear process to support reduction in collection of ‘unnecessary data’

    UK0024, 2011, E-Government

  58. Developing data.gov.uk and identifying other digital channels to support users

    UK0025, 2011,

  59. Evidence and databases behind policy statements

    UK0026, 2011, E-Government

  60. Data underlying surveys

    UK0027, 2011, E-Government

  61. Examining ways for improving the use of existing published data

    UK0028, 2011, E-Government

  62. Stimulate the market for innovative use of open data

    UK0029, 2011, Open Data

  63. Spend up to 5% of budget support on accountability

    UK0030, 2011, E-Government

  64. Include the OGP eligibility criteria to determine readiness for UK budget support

    UK0031, 2011, Aid

  65. Publish aid information from all ODA government departments

    UK0032, 2011, Aid

  66. Use a single domain for government services

    UK0033, 2011, E-Government

  67. Mandate ‘channel shift’

    UK0034, 2011, E-Government

  68. Go online for all consultations

    UK0035, 2011, E-Government

  69. Develop practical guidelines on departmental access to internet and social media

    UK0036, 2011, Civic Space

  70. Open data and application interfaces in ways that encourage businesses

    UK0037, 2011, E-Government

  71. Create cross-government standards on APIs

    UK0038, 2011,

  72. Establish standardised formats for user-satisfaction data

    UK0039, 2011, Records Management

  73. Provide government documents in open standard format

    UK0040, 2011, E-Government

  74. Implement crowd-sourcing and engagement processes

    UK0041, 2011,

  75. New power to secure release of valuable datasets

    UK0001, 2011,

  76. New, higher cost cap for FOI

    UK0002, 2011, Right to Information

  77. Meaningful disincentives

    UK0003, 2011,

  78. Maximum time limits

    UK0004, 2011, Right to Information

  79. Altered procurement rules

    UK0005, 2011,

  80. Mandating phased introduction of ‘Public by Default’

    UK0006, 2011, E-Government

  81. Formalising Public Data Principles

    UK0007, 2011, Records Management

  82. Having in place an Open Data compliance monitoring process

    UK0008, 2011, Records Management

  83. Making clear the minimum citizens can expect on publication and quality of data

    UK0009, 2011,

  84. Ensuring a line of continuous improvement for public service providers

    UK0010, 2011, Open Data

  85. Encourage continuous improvement

    UK0011, 2011, Records Management

  86. Setting out how citizens can challenge where there is failure in the process

    UK0012, 2011, Public Participation

  87. Establishing an obligation to consider and act on user feedback

    UK0013, 2011, Public Participation

  88. Making clear that licenses must cover free, commercial re-use

    UK0014, 2011,

  89. Merge information asset registers…into a single data inventory

    UK0015, 2011,

  90. Set consistent expectations of the appropriate quality of meta-data

    UK0016, 2011, Records Management

  91. For data co-ordinated across government, set definitions

    UK0017, 2011, E-Government

  92. Introducing corporate responsibility at Transparency Board level

    UK0018, 2011, Records Management

  93. Strengthening and broadening the Public Sector Transparency Board

    UK0019, 2011, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  94. Bringing the Sector Transparency Board model to other parts of public sector

    UK0020, 2011, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  95. Reviewing the existing governance and regulatory model

    UK0021, 2011, Records Management

  96. Establishing a framework for public service providers data inventories

    UK0022, 2011, Records Management

  97. Developing a clear methodology to support intelligent inventories

    UK0023, 2011, Records Management