Find out about a range of LGA programmes to promote the understanding of open data, develop a policy towards local transparency and identify and share good practice of open data use.

The Government has made transparency and open data a key priority as it fosters accountability, drives improvements in public services by informing choice, and stimulates innovation and growth. The move to greater openness and transparency is part of a wider transformation process of rewiring public services across local government.

The LGA promotes open and transparent local government to meet local needs and demands. It encourages a meaningful approach to open data to

  • Design services around user needs
  • Engage and empower citizens to shape their communities and services
  • Drive efficiencies and public service transformation
  • Promote economic and social growth through the innovative use of data
  • Be transparent and publicly accountable.

The Local Government Association (LGA) supports authorities in their understanding of local transparency through guidance, the development of common standards, the promotion of good practice, a collaborative approach for releasing data, and the better use of data through existing and new online applications, tools and services such as LG Inform. Many local authorities increasingly release open data in meaningful and innovative ways and engage with local groups to make better use of it. 

Local transparency programme

The LGA set-up the local transparency programme to promote a greater understanding and responsibility for the opening up of data within local authorities

Local Government Association, Heads of Communications Survey

Better use of data

More data than ever is available to provide the fuel for digital tools and services and is used in data analytics to get greater insights into user needs and local places.

Local Government Association, Heads of Communications Survey

Data and standards learning modules

Learning modules, data publishing and data standards learning modules for Local Government.

Using open data to better engage with local people and improve local services

Making open data work (case studies)

Local government received £2.64 million between 2013 and 2015 to help authorities to release and use data in meaningful, practical ways to engage with local people and improve local services. Most of the projects' evaluation reports have been published and outline what councils did, the impacts and benefits. The LGA has also collated some good practice case studies to help councils realise the potential of using open data.

Local transparency guidance

These practical guidance documents support local authorities in understanding and implementing the Local Government Transparency Code 2015 and to help them publish the data in a meaningful and consistent way.

Transparency and Open Data Policy and Regulations (2012-2015)

The government has made open data and transparency a key priority. This presumption in favour of open data being made more freely available is reflected in new policies and regulations. A list or relevant policies and the LGA's consultation responses are available here.

Local Government Open Data, Standards and Tools

Technical information, guidance and tools to identify open data published by UK local authorities and to encourage standardisation of local open data.

The value of transparency and open data to local government

Slides about local transparency and open data presented at the Making transparency work roadshow 2014.

Local Government Transparency Survey

The LGA conducted a transparency survey of all local authorities in England in September 2012 to find out to what extent local authorities have embraced the transparency code and are publishing open data, the impact of open data on local authorities and how data is used locally.