The publication of local government spending data in the UK seems to be happening at a local level, but is there anywhere that is aggregating the data so that I can look up with a single query all the contracts awarded to the same company from councils across England?

Data from a handful of councils seems to be being aggregated as Linked Data in a demo form on the esd toolkit site: Council Spending Linked Data pilot (info here)

OpenlyLocal also seems to be aggregating data from various councils (Openlylocal: council spending data), though it looks harder to generate queries on to this data? e.g. data on cash spent with Serco

THe Biolap Council expenses analysis java application also seems to offer analysis over different council data sets, but I haven't yet tried it out.

Are there any other sites that support arbitrary queries over all this data in single place, ideally via a RESTful webservice?

asked 16 Jan '11, 14:36

psychemedia's gravatar image

psychemedia ♦♦
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edited 18 Jan '11, 08:54

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rgrp ♦♦
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FWIW, the Biolap Java client pretty much kills my Mac...

(16 Jan '11, 14:52) psychemedia ♦♦

Think it's pretty much all there on OpenlyLocal, one way or another (though there are definitely possible improvements both possible and on their way.

First as Marxian said, you can search for all companies name Serco. It's important to allow this functionality as there's more than ones Serco, and the same Serco might be called different things by different councils. The OpenlyLocal system when importing council spending data matches against known existing suppliers for the council, and existing known companies/charities etc, querying companies house and the charities register if there's no known supplier (and finally users can manually make the match where it's difficult, e.g http://openlylocal.com/suppliers/157659-serco-the-maidstone-leisure-trust

When we have a match, you get something like http://openlylocal.com/companies/845-serco-limited which refers to to a fully identified company, including the company number (the RDF version of that page by the way identifies the company using the OpenCorporates dereferenceable URI for that company, which is based on the company number). It would be fairly easy to provide an alternative URL for this using the company number, e.g. http://openlylocal.com/companies/uk/00242246 if people wanted it.

Finally the whole spending database is downloadable as a single zipped CSV file, under an open licence, including the payee URI, which is a deferenceable URI that identifies the recipient of the money (company, charity, other local authority etc). However, be warned it's over 130MB uncompressed, and so is just a bit too big to import into Fusion Tables (though would prob be OK if you stripped a few of the fields.

Hoep this helps, Chris

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answered 17 Jan '11, 17:33

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countculture
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V useful - thanks:-) The mapping from the company number uri would pragmatically bring the data into the little-l little-d linked data space, I think?

(17 Jan '11, 17:46) psychemedia ♦♦

You can get a better interface to OpenlyLocal like this:

http://openlylocal.com/suppliers?name_filter=serco

There's support for json output too:

http://openlylocal.com/suppliers.json?name_filter=serco

I don't know how to find the canonical id of a supplier on the service though. In the case of SERCO it seems to be http://openlylocal.com/companies/845-serco-limited though what the 845 is about I don't know. I'll try to find out...

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answered 17 Jan '11, 16:30

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Some councils (e.g. GLA, Barnet) are loaded into Where Does My Money Go?: http://data.wheredoesmymoneygo.org/dataset and more are on their way (but I believe countculture's work with OpenlyLocal is definitely the more comprehensive at the moment!).

You can query all of the Where Does My Money Go? data using a simple API (providing JSON) as documented here:

http://data.wheredoesmymoneygo.org/api

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answered 19 Jan '11, 08:55

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Asked: 16 Jan '11, 14:36

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Last updated: 19 May, 05:20

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