Government publishes public sector spending online


The Government has published data on public spending from 2008-09 and 2009-10, including expenditure on technology projects, as it looks to be more transparent in its operations.

Information on spending is being released from the Combined Online Information System (COINS) and is being made viewable on

COINS is used by the Treasury to store financial data from the public sector, containing aggregate spending information.

"For too long the previous Government acted as if the public had no right to know where their hard-earned taxes were spent. Today we have lifted that veil of secrecy by releasing detailed spending figures dating back to 2008," said Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, in a statement.

The information is in its raw form and is highly complex, but the Treasury said it will be working to make sure COINS data published in future is in more simple format.

"This data is complex, but this is a major step forward and shows we are delivering on our promise to make this Government more open and transparent while ensuring we deliver value for money for the taxpayer. I hope people will take the opportunity to scrutinise carefully how their money is being spent as I am doing every day in preparation for the Spending Review," Alexander added.

More COINS data for all years back to 2005-06 will be made available by 15 June.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister David Cameron sent out a letter informing government departments of his plans to make public sector data more transparent.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.