Government finance data
Financial management data of the government.
- Agricultural subsidy expenditure (direct payments, product support, tariffs etc.)
- Agriculture-related tax income
- Penalties given to agricultural actors
- Investment in research and education (extension, research institutes, professional training and universities)
The availability of open data on government spending in the agricultural sector can lead to more transparency and equity. Feedback from civil society may result in a more targeted or effective spending of the budget.
Expected impact: High
(but concentrated in government efficiency and transparency area)
- Farmers can use the data to provide feedback to the government about how taxes are spent.
Use by other actors
Government resources supporting agriculture can be spent more efficiently, while other organisations can:
- help to improve budget policies by providing information on food security needs and priorities directly or through connections with citizens, communities and particular sectors;
- monitor the use of public resources, helping to prevent misuse or corruption;
- make more strategic decisions in agrifinance and value chain development as a result of knowing knowing in what commodities and regions the government is investing.
Most governments have clear budget data records and accounting for internal use. Putting these figures online in machine-readable format will be a relatively simple task considering their structured form.
Examples of implementation
- In 2015, 21 governments shared their high-level budget data as open data. Examples are:
- Canada http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hgw-cgf/
- USA https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/f
- Taiwan http://data.gov.tw/node/gov/resource/6277
- Uruguay http://wbi.worldbank.org/boost/boost-initiative The BOOST initiative is a World Bank collaborative effort to facilitate access to budget data and promote effective use for improved decision-making processes, transparency and accountability. Currently deployed in about 40 countries globally.
- The Open Contracting Data Standard provides a common approach to increase transparency in public contracting processes: http://standard.open-contracting.org/latest/en/
- The Fiscal Data Package is a simple, open technical specification for government budget and spending data. http://fiscal.dataprotocols.org/
Government in Action 3: Reforming the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy in the EU as a result of sharing government finance data
The publication of the EU’s annual subsidy budget under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 2008 sharpened the political debate on how the money is actually spent. It revealed that a major share of the CAP was going to large farms and big landowners, despite its stated objective of supporting smallholders and family farmers. In Eastern Europe, multinationals were heavily subsidized while taking over the business of the small farmers. As a result the CAP has been recalibrated, changing the rules and redistributing the resources across member states and becoming a more effective policy tool.
Policy area: Government transparency and efficiency
Key data category: Government finance data