Open Knowledge

Government Spending 80% open

United Kingdom

What data is expected?

Records of actual (past) national government spending at a detailed transactional level; A database of contracts awarded or similar will not considered sufficient. This data category refers to detailed ongoing data on actual expenditure. Data submitted in this category should meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Individual record of transactions.
  • Date of the transactions
  • Government office which had the transaction
  • Name of vendor
  • amount of the transaction
  • Update on a monthly basis

What data is available

  •   Openly licensed? Yes(Here)
  •   Is the data available for free? Yes
  •   Is the data machine readable? Yes (CSV)
  •   Available in bulk? No
  •   Is the data provided on a timely and up to date basis? No
  •   Publicly available? Yes(as Spend data over £25,000 published by Each department publishes it themselves, originally coordinated by HM Treasury)
  •   Is data in digital form? Yes
  •   Is the data available online? Yes (Here)
  •   Does the data exist? Yes


Central Government departments are required to regularly publish lists of all financial transactions spending over £25,000; some departments publish transactions down to £500 or lower. The business rules and the format is described at The data is re-usable under the UK's Open Government Licence.

In addition summarised spending information by month x department x type of goods/services is available quarterly from the Treasury (Ministry of Finance) COINS/OSCAR database - see for instance This is also available under the Open Government Licence. The data was last updated/released in September 2014.

2014 reviewer comment: The data in no longer available through COINS or 'Where does my money go'. It can be found on platform. I added the correct link to the information and a link to the data license.

2015 reviewer comment: OSCAR is not sufficient - it is an aggregation of transactions by budget code, not the detail of the transactions themselves. The monthly spend by government departments is scattered across and and is frequently out of date. For example at the time of writing the Cabinet Office itself is 12 months out of date: and (latest shown is August 2014, current date is September 2015.

Reviewer comments

Submission is correct.



  • Tryggvi Björgvinsson


  • David Read