07 December 2010

Northamptonshire County Council is continuing to push forward its transparency programme as the deadline for compliance with new government legislation approaches.

The council’s own transparency drive was well underway before the government detailed their transparency agenda in May this year and is now ready to fully meet the requirements of the new legislation due to come into force in January 2011.

A great deal has been already been achieved, with information about senior management salary and expenses information now available on our website at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/transparency

Earlier this year, the council also became one of the first in the country to publish details of all expenditure over £500.

Cabinet member for strategy, communications and external relations Cllr David Mackintosh said: “Here in Northamptonshire we are committed to making the county council more transparent and open to scrutiny in line with the government’s ambition.

“In fact, work to achieve this was already well underway before the new government was elected and our early progress meant we have been well-placed to help other organisations learn from our experience.

“In August, we hosted a visit from the government as part of a review of best practice for transparency in local authorities as we have also been consulted by other local authorities looking to move their own transparency programmes forward. I am also speaking about our experience of making the council more transparent at a national local government conference this week.

“We started early and have continued to work hard to see real progress in this area, well ahead of the government’s January deadline.”

The next step will be the publication of the council’s contracts. Work required to achieve this began in July this year and is on course to be completed before the government’s January deadline.

Efforts are also underway to ensure the council conforms to the government’s open data initiative, aimed at brining together public data to help people understand how government works and how policies are made.

The council will also be producing its own policy document to make clear the commitment to the transparency agenda as well as ensure full compliance with the new legislation.

Additional information:

Councillor David Mackintosh is speaking at Future of Transparency in Local Government conference organised by CLG and taking place today (Tuesday 7th December).

A cabinet paper outlining the council's transparency programme is available at http://cmis.northamptonshire.gov.uk/CmisWebPublic/Meeting.aspx?meetingID=605 and will be discussed at the cabinet meeting on 14th December.