slovenia’s national budget and open data

January 21st, 2013 § 2 comments

first, a disclaimer. in light of recent political events and unrests in slovenia, i’d like to stress that this post is not meant to take any sides. i’ll merely try to point out to a project that might otherwise go unnoticed.

English: Detail from Government. Mural by Elih...

English: Detail from Government. Mural by Elihu Vedder. Lobby to Main Reading Room, Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

last year, i’ve spend a couple of days reading our national budget. the purpose of the exercise was to find ways to create something not unlike the famous ‘death and taxes’ infographic. i was pleasantly surprised with the fact, that our budget is actually very well designed, with fascinating inherent structure of programs and spenders, but unpleasantly not-surprised, that it was published as PDF.

to create an infographic with such complex data, that should be rebuilt every year, one needs programmatic ways to process it. so i ended up parsing the pdf, with many silly problems on the way. but it worked, and i’ve published the broken-down version for the years 2010-2012.

that was in spring, and ever since i’ve been waiting for the new government to finally publish the budget that was supposed to govern us this year, so i could compare it with the old ones. i really resent the fact that the budget was kept unpublished all throughout the legislative process. i really feel it’s an insult to the citizens.

but, they finally published it last week, and to my great surprise, they’ve really made an effort – they published detailed explanations of each section, and, ta-da-da-da, we have machine-parsable CSV files as well!

i realize it’s not perfect, but it’s light years ahead of what we used to have to deal with. so, who’s up for some info-charting now? 😉

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§ 2 Responses to slovenia’s national budget and open data"

  • Hmm, 913 EUR per capita for paying government debts?! This is huge, more than 9 times than what is spent, say, on culture. What’s going to be the overhead of these debts?

  • igzebedze says:

    yeah… well… while i agree it sounds horrible, i admit i have no idea how it plays out with all the fancy macroeconomic factors… 😉

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