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« Information from the Public Sector now easier to re-use in all Member States. Easy enough? | Main | Improving access to Government through better use of the Web »

July 07, 2008


If only the Commission had followed this principle in relation to the new EU Financial Regulation's provisions on budget transparency.

Unfortunately, the implementing regulations on the CAP spending part (a shade under half of EU spending) require exactly the opposite: that each member state must build a web search tool that displays data on farm subsidy recipients.

The first MS to do this was Austria, on 23 June this year, see:

The website is a masterclass in how to design for a poor user experience. Fortunately we at have screen-scraped the entire website and present the same data in a much more accessible format at

We would MUCH rather if member states just published the raw data in CSV, XML or other easily-accessible digital format. It does take time to screen-scrape, and this is time we would rather spend on other things.

It is regrettable that the Commission should have required member states to build websites rather than disseminate freely reusable information.

eGov Websites fail on life events

New research has shown that UK government websites are falling short in efforts to support key life events

Source: Kablenet , 11 June 2008:!OpenDocument

UK gov competition

What would you create with public information?

Ever been frustrated that you can't find out something that ought to be easy to find? Ever been baffled by league tables or 'performance indicators'? Do you think that better use of public information could improve health, education, justice or society at large?

The UK Government wants to hear your ideas for new products that could improve the way public information is communicated. The Power of Information Taskforce is running a competition on the Government's behalf, and we have a £20,000 prize fund to develop the best ideas to the next level. You can see the type of thing we are are looking for here.

To show they are serious, the Government is making available gigabytes of new or previously invisible public information especially for people to use in this competition. Rest assured, this competition does not include personal information about people.

We're confident that you'll have more and better ideas than we ever will. You don't have to have any technical knowledge, nor any money, just a good idea, and 5 minutes spare to enter the competition.

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