Do you often
wonder where all that money goes? Do you wonder how all the taxes that are
collected are divided between departments and how they are spent? Do you often
wonder how much is paid to consultants for their work in government?
If the Government
Spending (Website) Bill passes through the Houses of Parliament and becomes
law, then you will.
This bill is
designed to force Treasury and Departments to place in a single database all
expenditure with explanation 30 days after the money has been spent.
The government as
expected is opposing the passage of the bill, citing as reasons The Varney
report on Service Transformation, and the fact that the Treasury has a database
of its own, which consists mainly of forward plan estimates rather than actual
expenditure, does not enter data until the end of the year, and because the
Treasury says ‘Audited resource accounts for government departments provide the
most comprehensive and accurate information on actual expenditure outturn’ in
other words its need to ‘sanitise’ it.
represented by Lord Evans of Temple Guiting, said “Although the Treasury seeks
monthly expenditure information from all government departments and already
makes some information available on its public website, as I have mentioned,
such information is inevitably very provisional and could not be regularly
produced at a detailed level without a significant impact on resources.”
Are we to assume
therefore that the treasury, just like the Home Office, does not have any idea
of how much money is being spent?
this Bill to the Lords for its 2nd reading on Friday, said “My party
believes that when Governments spend money, they are spending our money. We
paid the taxes, and it is our right to know what the Government are doing with
them. The Government owe it to taxpayers to be transparent about how they spend
money when they remove it from us by way of taxation.”
The Bill is based
upon US legislation which is already in force via the White
in response to the government emphasised the important behavioural impact that
the Bill would have on civil servants and on those who deal with government.
They would know
that information about their actions would be available if the Bill became law.
She said “I also
thank the noble Lord, Lord Newby, for pointing out that if it can be done in
the US, then we can do it in the UK.”
Here Here, these are the government databases that we want.
It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks how Gordon Brown views this Bill and its transparency of Government.