Open government and access to information : a case study of the impact on the local economy

This study describes a procedure that can trackthe economic and social development of a local government body, based on open government initiatives and openness of information. A methodology is proposed that incorporates analytical platforms available to the general public. To illustrateits application, the creation of the COMUNDA platform is described. The COMUNDA platform uses data provided from the Town Council of La Pobla de Vallbona (Valencia) on municipal spending in order to analyse aspects of public procurement. These second-level instruments, created from data published by the councils, can be useful analytical tools for detecting irregularities and for focusing attention on the business fabric of the municipality. The information obtained can help councils to design appropriate policies and help companies and individuals to understand the socioeconomic characteristics of the population. The article confirms the usefulness of the action and analysis protocolproposed for the platform mentioned, and the results suggest that it can be extrapolated to other scenarios. In this case, the MELODA metric gives a data reusabilityrating of 48.3%. Our procedure shows an increase in public procurement in the municipality in 2011, one of the worst years of the economic crisis, and also finds that outsourcing to external companies in the municipality accounts for 2 to 3 million € more than local contracting.