Notes on Central Government spending data

HM Treasury has issued guidance on the publication of government spending over £25,000. All departments and some non-departmental bodies must publish data on a monthly basis. This data is downloaded, converted to a standardised format and republished on the AppGov website.

Data loading

Data is being loaded from January 2011 onwards for each department. You can see the range of data that is currently loaded for each department from the CentralGov selection page.

Data values

Care has been taken to ensure that the data is accurately transcribed from the department download files to the AppGov database but in cases where this is not possible the following rules are employed:-

  • missing or invalid Date - value defaults to 01 of file date
  • Excel date number - converted to standard date assuming start at 01/01/1900
  • missing or invalid Amount - value defaults to £0
  • non-numeric characters in numeric fields - deleted
  • missing Supplier - value defaults to blank
  • unrecognisable character encoding - appropriate character is inserted, left blank or deleted
  • leading/trailing spaces in text fields - deleted
  • header, footer and total rows from the input file - ignored

Guidance documentation How to publish central government transparency data

HM Treasury: guidance for publishing spend over £25,000

Cabinet Office: spending controls guidance

Licensing for data reuse

Departments are encouraged to license their spending data for reuse under the Open Government Licence. AppGov acknowledges the relevant licence details wherever possible and does not claim any endorsement or official recognition in its use of the data.

For more information or to make suggestions please contact