The Italian web portal www.openbilanci.it (Open Budgets) showcases the value of open data. The site provides financial statements from all Italian municipalities for the last ten years, and information on their mayors. Visitors can freely download and re-use all the raw data. The portal itself provides additional functions, such as the dynamic generation of charts and maps, and the ability to make comparisons between municipalities. The latter allows you to compare taxes and investments in culture and public transport, for example.
The portal team posts weekly blogs in which they provide insights derived from the available data. Last week's post, for example, states that large Italian cities on average spend 70 euro per citizen on nursery services. The ranking shows how the northern cities Trieste, Rome and Venice are at the top of the ranking, while the southern cities Palermo, Naples and Messina are at the bottom.
The blog post from the week before looked into expenditure allocated to local public transport in 2012. Among the fifteen largest cities, Milan leads with 747 euro per capita, followed by Rome and Genoa spending roughly half that amount with 375 and 312 euro, respectively. Citizens, journalists, students and researchers are encouraged to re-use the available data and software.
Funding and sources
The Open Bilanci portal was created and is operated by Depp srl (Data. Engagement. Platforms. Politics.). Political, social and cultural promotion is carried out by OpenPolis. The portal is funded by the regional Open Data Lazio project and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The data provided by the Open Bilanci portal is taken directly from the municipal financial statements collected and published by the Central Directorate of Local Finance of the Ministry of the Interior. The data relating to the mayors is sourced from the Open Politicians portal — another project of OpenPolis — which in turn uses the Database of Local and Regional Directors maintained by the Central Electoral Services of the Ministry of the Interior.