Northern Ireland’s charity regulator is opening up its data for third party use as part of a public sector drive towards greater transparency.
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, which is responsible for the regulation of charities in Northern Ireland and ensuring that they meet their legal obligations, is one of the first non-departmental bodies to take the step.
The Open Data strategy published by the Department of Finance is aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in public services. For the Commission this means sharing information it holds, in an accessible format, on:
- Charities that are listed on the public register of charities including details of their purposes, beneficiaries and public address
- Charity income and expenditure – added as charities complete their annual monitoring return
- Data generated through research undertaken into public trust and confidence in charities in Northern Ireland.
Data is published under the Open Government Licence for public sector information. This means that all users will be free to copy, publish, distribute, adapt and use the information for a range of different purposes, so long as they acknowledge and refer to the original source of the data in their work. Personal information that falls under the Freedom of Information Act and other sensitive data will not be published.
Frances McCandless, Commission chief executive, said: “When public bodies publish the information they hold it not only increases transparency but it enables third parties to use data that was previously unavailable to them to do powerful and ground-breaking things.
“By making the information we hold available for wider use, we hope to stimulate discussion and innovation both within the third sector and beyond.”
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