Budget 2014: in data form

Pia Waugh

The Department of Finance Archive

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UPDATE: The Budget 2014-15 Tables and Data dataset went live on data.gov.au at http://data.gov.au/dataset/budget-2014-15-tables-and-data/. We are proud to say we also were able to include a number of Budget Paper tables and machine readable CSVs we manually translated for your convenience. Please follow the dataset there to keep up to date with new information and remember to register your data use cases, see http://data.gov.au for more information.

The Federal Budget will be published in data form for the first time this year.  The collection of PBS financial tables will be published as a single dataset for ease of discoverability and access, by the media and the public, managed by the data.gov.au team in Finance. The new requirement is designed to satisfy the Government’s direction regarding the proactive publishing of government data in a format that facilitates public access and promotes more efficient data sharing and analysis, as detailed in the Coalition's E-Government and Digital Economy Policy.

As a result, Portfolio Departments are now required to provide a copy of all finalised PBS tables in Excel format to the Department of Finance (Finance) for publication on data.gov.au under the default Australian Government license (Creative Commons BY 3.0 AU).

These Excel spreadsheets, in their current form, are not machine readable as they have been optimised for PBS publication use. The data.gov.au team have committed to extracting from the Excel files - within 24 hours of the budget going live - the line-item level and program information intoa single machine readable CSV.

Update: Finance will also create a single csv with agency headcount. So there will be two CSV files to accompany the ~130 agency PBS Excel spreadsheets.

The PBS Excel files published should include the following financial tables with headings and footnotes to be published on data.gov.au:

  1. Table 1.1: Agency Resource Statement;
  2. Table 1.2: Agency 2014-15 Budget Measures;
  3. Table 2.1: Budgeted Expenses for Outcome X;
  4. Table 2.2: Programme Expenses and Programme Components.
  5. Table 3.1.1: Movement of Administered Funds Between Years;
  6. Table 3.1.2: Estimates of Special Account Flows and Balances;
  7. Table 3.1.3: Australian Government Indigenous Expenditure (AGIE);
  8. Tables 3.2.1 to 3.2.6: Departmental Budgeted Financial Statements; and
  9. Tables 3.2.7 to 3.2.11: Administered Budgeted Financial Statements.

This is a significant step towards improving budget transparency and accessibility across government and we look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments below. Once published, we would greatly appreciate any links to how you have used the data being added to the data.gov.au website. An enormous thank you to the Budget Reporting and Framework team in Finance for their hard work in making this possible.

Please stay tuned and we will update you as we have more information.

Pia and the data.gov.au team

Comments (9)

This will be great for those in the data viz space. To have a very topical data set machine readable will give a wider public some appreciation of how information can be provided in an interactive format for exploration. Maybe the canned graphs and animations from mainstream media will give way to something better...

Its a great idea to publish the budget in excel. Not only will it help with transparency but also with managing uncertainty, and keeping individual departments accountable.

Thanks all for the comments, tweets and emails. This is quite a group effort (in gov and civil society) but also just one of the many successes we are having with open data in Australia, so please check out data.gov.au and subscribe to the blog there to keep up with our progress :) We do monthly reports too.

Pia and the data.gov.au team

Great work - this is a big step forward - we look forward to the release. Thanks Jim

Hi all,

Below is the structure of the line item CSV we will produce from the PBS Excel files. The data transformation is expected to be complete by midday 14 May but we start as soon as we can, so we will put up an incomplete CSV (and the PBS Excel files) as soon as the PBSs are tabled in the Senate (around 8.30pm) which will be updated as additional PBSs are transformed into data form until the work is done. We will add links to the dataset here when we go live.

Expense type
Appropriation type
Source document
Source table

Pia and the data.gov.au team

This is really great Pia. Looking forward to exploring the data.

As someone who has occasionally been a bit of a bit of a cynic about the average value of the data sets released on data.gov.au, I would like to tip my hat to you guys and say that this is an extremely significant win!

This level of transparency on government budgets can only be a good thing. Thanks for you hard work in making this happen.

Hi all,

Just letting you all know the PBS files, initial CSV of line items (which is being updated as we finish it) and some additional BP1 tables and CSVs (you're welcome!) are now up at http://data.gov.au/dataset/budget-2014-15-tables-and-data/

Pia and the data.gov.au, Finance and Treasury Budget 2014-15 data team

Just letting people know the budget data released this year was used in BudgetAus which organised a collaboration of media, development and budget transparency enthusiasts we have called the BudgetAus collaboration.

This collaboration has received international recognition from the International Budget Partnership. This to everyone who enabled this process. The url for my guest blog post on the IBP site is here.

Last updated: 17 August 2016