"Ministers have given local authorities a deadline of the end of January to issue online the details of their expenditure on items over £500. The Communities and Local Government department maintains a timeline to display progress towards this. ... But documents obtained by the BBC under freedom of information show some councils have protested to the department about this demand from central government."
Exactly right: "Using the Guardian's data explorer tool, you can get a comprehensive list of suppliers. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could instantly cross-reference that with the records at Companies House? ... It would also be interesting to compare the sums being paid to a company's declared accounts. What sort of proportion of their turnover derives from state spending?"
"What's next? ... Historical data will be released ... More public agencies will follow ... There will be a right to data ... Open data will move from spending into crime... "
"[A]midst all [the 'data journalism'] hype, earnestness and spreadsheet-geekery, here's the truth about so-called 'data journalism'. It's still about the story, stupid. ... [S]urely what's shocking is how few stories journalists actually managed to uncover [from recent major data dumps] ... No doubt we'll get better at this. Over time, journalists will learn how to pick out the stories that matter from these huge data releases - and it will help hugely whenever a single news outlet has control of the data, as the Telegraph did with MPs' expenses, so that they can drip-feed the top lines one at a time rather than see the whole lot drown in the 24-hour news cycle."
Mark Easton: "With just a few days before today's publication, savvy colleagues worked day and night cleaning, sorting and crunching the data - the kind of effort unavailable to most households. Indeed, my rather outdated spreadsheet software was simply not powerful enough to open the Whitehall master file we built to get an overview of state spending."
Francis Maude: "The information we are publishing today is not complete and is not perfect; over time we want to give more detail on what the money is spent on and also where it is geographically spent. The information we are publishing today is a start, but we want to go further. Ultimately we want to use this data to allow citizens to have the power to make informed decisions about the public services they use and find out who is making the decisions on expenditure which affect them. We want every voter to see what choices are being made in their name and every taxpayer to see how their money is being spent."
"Fresh official data published on Thursday have exposed the minutiae of government spending, from awaydays at popular bars to contracts in the billions with multinational companies."