Government opens up data on £100bn of annual grant awards

Publication of departmental information is intended to help design policy and prevent fraud

The government is opening up data on the £100bn-plus of grants it awards each year, in a move it claims will create efficiencies and help design policy.

The Government Grants Information System (GGIS) offers a standardised system through which government departments can report and analyse their own grant information and that of their peers. Data included in the system will include information on grants for schools, transport operators, and sports clubs, among other things 

Opening up this data across Whitehall “will allow for greater scrutiny of grant making and will help the government identify areas of inefficiency or fraud throughout the grant-making process”, the government said. Permitting access to this information is also intended to help assess policy efficacy.

Last year, the government handed out about £100bn, across a total of 3,351 grants.

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John Manzoni, chief executive of the civil service and Cabinet Office permanent secretary, said: “We spend more than £100bn year on government grants. We will continue to ensure that this money is being spent effectively. Through the GGIS, for the first time, we are able to collect more extensive data across government departments, not only on the levels of grant giving, but also how the process is being managed within each department.”

Data from the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Justice is being published publicly in a format specially designed by 360Giving, a not-for-profit body set up to promote evidence-based grant-making and the publication of open, standardised data. Information on grants from the DfT and MoJ data can be accessed by other grant-making organisations and the wider public.

Fran Perrin, founder of 360Giving, said: “The government is the UK’s largest grant funder, so we are pleased that it is on board with the greater grants-data movement in a push towards more transparency, efficiency, and efficacy.”


Sam Trendall

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