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Use case: Offener Haushalt

A German open data use case that improves accountability and transparency

Offener Haushalt is a German website that increases transparency, specifically in terms of government spending, by visualising how much the state spends on which posts. It incorporates budgetary data at the federal, state, and municipal level.

The website was created to increase transparency in the public sector in Germany. This has resulted from, for example, the fact that there is no specified format for these datasets and that they often remain behind government doors. Offener Haushalt tackles this problem by publishing this information in open file formats and allowing citizens to monitor and understand the finances of their community. Furthermore, the website allows citizens to investigate the budget in a metric of choice. For instance, per inhabitant or per employed person. In addition, the open format allows citizens to request budgetary data from their municipality via the information portal “FragDenStaat” and upload, visualise and embed it on the Offener Haushalt website.

As everyone, from citizens to journalists and researchers can analyse the data themselves, this voluntary project of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany greatly improved accountability and transparency in the public sector.

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