[openspending-dev] Improvement of offenerhaushalt.at

Krabina Bernhard krabina at kdz.or.at
Thu Apr 18 08:33:29 UTC 2013

Dear Openspending Community,

as you might have read already, on the Open Data Day in February this year, some folks from the Austrian Open Knowledge community installed the Openspending software at http://www.offenerhaushalt.at and we provided first visualzations of budget data from the cities of Graz and Salzburg.

This raised some questions in the community wheter or not we should have done it differently: by creating a satellite site, storing the data in openspending.org and wrapping all user interface elements on the satellite site. Besides us not knowing what the preferred way to go is at the time of the Hackathlon, we are now quite certain that we still need a separate intallation.  

This is mainly due to the fact that
1. We have all the data of the Austrian municipalities available already. Due to legal reasons, we can only make them available to the public if each municipality individually agrees. Unless we have this agreement, we can only store the data in a database we have control over and provide the data/visualisation to the municipalities they refer to. Of course we believe in public and open budget data, but it will take a while until we have all 2.354 municipalities convinced :-)
2. We will provide additional features in the future that go beyond open budget data and will be very specific to Austria/relevant only to the financial departments of the municipalities. E. g. we calculate indicators based on budget data and provide these to the municipalities themselves. The question on whether these indicataors can be made open is again subject to the decision of the municipality.

As of course we understand that once we use open source software for our purposes, we have to give something back, we will be happy to talk to you about delivering (or somehow automatically grabbing) all data that has been made open to openspending.org, but this should be posponed to later this year. 

And - even more important - we have some (limited) budget to fund some improvments of the software. Part of these improvements will be usable for many other openspending installations, other parts may be only interesting for the use cases in Austria.

I have put up a first draft for the tasks that need to be done (and can partly be funded) here: http://kdz.okfnpad.org/1

Please feel free to make comments/edits. Beware that this is a very first draft and we are still in the process of getting a clearer picture of what we want wo accomplish ourselves, but at this stage I believe it already makes sense to discuss the tasks with you. If you are a developer (or plan to become one) for openspending and are interested in taking over one of these tasks, please raise your hands. We will have to discuss funding options individually (we need some kind of contract and a bill in order to be able to pay you for work you have delivered). We are also trying to bring new developers from Austria to the project to take over tasks.

We are looking forward to working with you on this and hearing your opinions!

Best regards,

Mag. Bernhard Krabina
KDZ - Zentrum für Verwaltungsforschung
Centre for Public Administration Research
Guglgasse 13, 1110 Wien
Telefon: +43  1 8923492-27, Fax: +43 1 8923492-20
Mobil:   +43 676 849579-27, Twitter: @krabina
mailto:krabina at kdz.or.at - http://www.kdz.or.at

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