360Giving presses government on open data promise

Melanie May | 6 March 2018 | News

360Giving has pressed the government to make good on its 2016 promise to publish more granular level data on its annual £100bn grants expenditure.
360Giving used Open Data Day on 3 March to ask the government to fulfil its open data promise. It says that being able to compare all government grants data alongside grants from other funders would enable collaboration and benefit the charitable sector.
The government has so far created the Government Grants Information System (GGIS) to enable grant information to be recorded and reported across all 15 departments that provide grants in a standardised and scalable way. It has also released data in line with the 360Giving open data standard for the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Transport, meaning that data can be seen alongside funding provided by other charitable trusts and foundations.
However, 360Giving has called for government to be more ambitious.
Rachel Rank, CEO of 360Giving and member of the Charity Commission Digital Advisory Group, said:

“The remaining 13 departments should share more granular data on their grant expenditure, as outlined in the commitment made in the UK’s Open Government National Action Plan, starting with the biggest providers such as DCMS, Defra and the Department for Education.
“The government’s grant expenditure is equivalent to the UK’s annual healthcare spending and highlights why it’s important that this information is published in an open, standardised way that identifies each organisation receiving funds. This would make it easier to follow the money through the delivery chain and could engender greater collaboration with the charitable sector. It would also help us gain a better understanding of the true size and scale of the sector and all the important work it does.”

According to 360Giving, 73 funding organisations are now sharing their data using the 360Giving Standard, representing over £17bn of grants made to all corners of the UK. These include the Big Lottery Fund and Sport England, BBC Children in Need, Comic Relief, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and Lloyds Bank Foundation. The Standard is also in use at a local level including several community foundations, local authorities and housing associations.

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