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Want to keep a track on Dorset Council’s spending?

Friday, February 4th, 2011
Want to keep a track on Dorset Council’s spending?
In the name of transparency Dorset County Council has opened its expenditure book and published it online.
Under the open data banner Dorset County Council are letting everyone know what it is spending our money on over £500.
So these month documents you can have a breakdown of payments to suppliers.  For each payment you can see, the name of the supplier, the amount paid, a brief description of the service or goods provided.
For example for the month of December, did you know, £1.2M was paid to SKANSKA for Infrastructure works; or, Velocity UK received 99,469 for hand tools; or £1,500 to WessexFM for recruitment advertising.
If you are a business this will give you an insight into what your competitors or perhaps contracts who are outside the county are being paid on a monthly basis.
Helping your tender for contracts
This can be incredibly useful if you are looking to tender for contracts.  If whilst it is only a month snap-shot of the payments and the descriptions are only brief, the shrewd business man might be able to tally up all the payments throughout the year and get a rough idea of how to beat a supplier on price.
Also, this list is a useful guide as to how the council is spending its money.  Again, a canny business might sell in services based on this list.
So is transparency in Government a good thing?
This question is too fraught with conjecture to offer a simple yes or no answer.
From a business perspective this might help a few large corporate businesses to sharpen their pencils in terms of getting a better price for services.  However, this might decrease council spending, contracts changing hands from one supplier to another may have headcount consequences.
My worry is that Mr & Mrs Busybody from 3 Meddlesome Terrace will use this information to beat up local counselors, rightly or wrongly about too much perceived waste.
Whatever view you take Dorset’s OpenData project is here and it’s available.

04_28_57---Pile-of-Coins_webIn the name of transparency Dorset County Council has opened its expenditure book and published it online.

Under the open data banner Dorset County Council are letting everyone know what it is spending our money on over £500.

So these month documents you can have a breakdown of payments to suppliers.  For each payment you can see, the name of the supplier, the amount paid, a brief description of the service or goods provided.

For example for the month of December, did you know:-

  • £1.2M was paid to SKANSKA for Infrastructure works; or
  • Velocity UK received 99,469 for hand tools; or
  • £1,500 to WessexFM for recruitment advertising.

If you are a business this will give you an insight into what your competitors or perhaps contracts who are outside the county are being paid on a monthly basis.

Helping your tender for contracts

This information can also e incredibly useful if you are looking to tender for contracts.  Whilst it is only a month snap-shot of the payments and the descriptions are only brief, the shrewd business man might be able to tally up all the payments throughout the year and get a rough idea of how to beat a supplier on price.

Also, this list is a useful guide as to how the council is spending its money.  Again, a canny business might sell in services based on this list.

So is transparency in local Government a good thing?

This question is too fraught with conjecture to offer a simple yes or no answer.

From a business perspective this might help a few large corporate businesses to sharpen their pencils in terms of getting a better price for services.  However, this might decrease council spending, contracts changing hands from one supplier to another may have headcount consequences.

Whatever view you take Dorset Council’s OpenData project is here and it’s available.

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