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I heard about the idea of open data which aim is to provide various data from governments.

Will data about the government budget (money gained mostly from taxpayers), finances, spendings be available for countries? Data where citizens can browse through databases, spreadsheets, graphs and other visual tools?

Which countries have these data already available? What are the problems in making these data available for public?

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closed as off-topic by keshlam, Dheer, Nathan L, Victor, MD-Tech May 9 at 10:59

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  • "Questions on economics are off-topic unless they relate directly to personal finance." – keshlam, Dheer, Nathan L, Victor, MD-Tech
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For future reference, you could get more details about topics like this at the new OpenData site. – John Bensin May 27 '13 at 0:02
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Is this really a personal finance question? Strikes me as somewhere between economics and law... – keshlam May 7 at 17:25
up vote 3 down vote accepted

This sort of open data about government budgets and finances is sometimes referred to as Government 2.0, or Gov 2.0.

There are many countries who have their own open data websites. Several super-national entities also have open data about government expenditures available to the public. They aggregate information from multiple countries. The United Nations, the European Union and the World Bank are all reliable sources of open data, compiled on one website.

Here's a list of some of the major open data government websites:

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Thank you for answer. Could you show some specific finding? Like some expense in particular day for particular thing (e.g. construction of highway) or some financial flow between two countries with open data? – xralf Mar 25 '12 at 17:31
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@xralf I found one example, will look for some others, and add as I find them. It is the sort of thing that I notice but don't keep good track of! For now, see this discussion from The Sunlight Foundation. They have a good reputation and experience with using open data for beneficial purposes. This was a discussion on the Google open source project forum that they have. You don't need to be join to read the messages groups.google.com/d/topic/sunlightlabs-api-discuss/sGAdBnt6G1E/… – Ellie Kesselman Mar 30 '12 at 0:56
    
Thank you I will have to devote it time later. It seems that people without special knowledge (normal citizens) have it difficult to orient easily in government data. It would be great if there would be database schema description. – xralf Mar 30 '12 at 6:23
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I agree with you. Try these for database schema descriptions for World Bank data: Accessing Open Data w/Stata data.worldbank.org/news/accessing-world-bank-open-data-in-stata and World Bank Financial Datasets finances.worldbank.org/page/datasets – Ellie Kesselman Apr 1 '12 at 6:05
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Here are two examples of applications of open data, also from the World Bank: Financial comparisons for spending on Mekong River Delta transportation, healthcare, water management finances.worldbank.org/Loan-and-Credit-Administration/okie-/… and a post on World Bank data schema data.worldbank.org/news/… for funding. – Ellie Kesselman Apr 1 '12 at 6:13

You can view certain US economic data with FRED Graph or download the data to play with FRED download.

Here is some example tax data:

example tax data

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