Hammersmith & Fulham council is aiming to become one of the most financially transparent councils in the UK with the help of Spikes Cavell’s spotlightonspend online platform.
The council will not only make its external payments transparent to the public in line with the wishes of government communities secretary Eric Pickles, but will also provide visibility of its members’ allowances and expenses, and it’s total spend as reported in its finance system.
The council will also publish its list of assets register, including all buildings and council-owned land.
“We don’t want to simply grudgingly comply with the government requirements on external payments as just a box ticking exercise,” said Harry Phibbs, cabinet minister for community engagement at Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
“The vast majority of spending any council undertakes is not payments to suppliers, but rather its ongoing running costs and operational investments," said Phibbs.
"Information not only needs to be transparent and accessible, but also intelligible to the general public so that it is meaningful and easily understood. It’s useless to simply have raw data."
The Hammersmith & Fulham data will be presented "in a format people can follow" said Phibbs. The council has reduced its council tax rate for the fourth consecutive year.
Earlier this year, the National Audit Office warned the government that it was unlikely to meet the planned £35bn public spending cuts target deadline for next year, as it did not possess fully transparent departmental financial records.