Insights in Global Public Spending


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For decades, not to say centuries, access to information and financial flows related to public finances was restricted to small groups of experts and decision makers. Gradually, public budgets become openly available (mostly in hard copies and pdf) and online data about the tender procedure is offered in some cases (e.g. Lately, a growing number of local and central governments are publishing their spending decisions as open data (e.g. That is a prerequisite step for data-driven transparency, accountability and innovation but there is a series of important issues to be anticipated. The quality of data is considered to be low compared to the questions that can be answered through the data. It is impossible to draw reliable conclusions with respect the source, the destination and the effectiveness of public money. Budget and spending classifications are incompatible even within a single organization and country and there is not a standard method for representing company names and activities.
Thus, a minimal and compact common ground should be established in order to use more efficiently the existing open datasets and to make targeted requests on opening the missing information.

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Insights in Global Public Spending

  1. 1. Insights in Global Public Spending Michalis Vafopoulos, National Tech. Univ. Athens, (joint effort with M. Meimaris, J. M. Alvarez Rodriguez, G. Xidias, G. Vafeiadis, M. Klonaras & P. Kranidiotis)
  2. 2. The era of Open budgets, spending, registries, contracting… 2
  3. 3. Open but Effective? oWho really gets the public money? oFor what? From whom? oCan we compare them? oIs public spending effective? o<your question goes here> 3
  4. 4. Useful economic open data 1. The full cycle of public money 2. Uniform Company names 3. Compatible Payment categories 4
  5. 5. 1. The full cycle of public money 5 Prices
  6. 6. Follow Public Money all the Way Vocabulary (fpm) oA compact and minimal way to model the flows of public money oFrom budget to spending including business information and prices oWork in progress (ask inside) 6
  7. 7. Useful economic open data 1. The full cycle of public money 2. Uniform Company names 3. Compatible Payment categories 7
  8. 8. 2. Not uniform Company names 8 The problem: different names for the same company “Oracle” in the Australian public spending
  9. 9. Reconciling Company names: the CORFU technique (work in progress) Rodríguez, Jose María Álvarez, Ordoñez de Pablos, Patricia, Vafopoulos, Michalis N. and Labra, José Emilio
  10. 10. 3. Compatible Payment categories The problem: Spending decisions are using different (or not any!) classification schemes (e.g. CPV, UNSSC, NAICS) 10
  11. 11. Compatible Payment categories Transforming classification schemes or literal descriptions to CPV, expanding: The MOLDEAS project Methods On Linked Data for E-procurement Applying Semantics 11
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. Reconciling Company names: the Forbes Global 2000 companies
  14. 14. Compatible Payment categories
  15. 15. Work in progress o New data (more countries and cities) o New links (e.g. registries, business info) o New uses (e.g. open public economics) you are invited: to follow together public money all the way through 15
  16. 16. Utopia? o Still inconsistent & not enough Open data? Yes, but to persuade people to open the data we need real cases - If we fail may go back to the closed world 16
  17. 17. Let us discuss 17
  18. 18. References o Vafopoulos, Michalis N., Rodríguez, Jose María Álvarez, Meimaris, Marios, Xidias, Ioannis, Klonaras, Michailis and Vafeiadis, Giorgos, Insights in Global Public Spending (May 12, 2013). Available at SSRN: or o Vafopoulos, Michalis N., The Web Economy: Goods, Users, Models, and Policies (July 26, 2012). Michalis Vafopoulos (2012) "The Web Economy: Goods, Users, Models, and Policies", Foundations and Trends® in Web Science: Vol. 3: No 1-2, pp 1-136. Available at SSRN: o ALVAREZ, J. and LABRA, J. 2012. Towards a pan-european e-procurement platform to aggregate, publish and search public procurement notices powered by Linked Open Data: the MOLDEAS approach. International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering. 22, 3 (2012), 365–383. 18