Bling my budget: Victoria's first Budget Hack

By David Donaldson

April 7, 2016

Victorians may soon be able to find out how much the state government spends per person in their suburb, following Victoria’s first budget hackathon event.

Over the past few weeks, software developers have been pondering how they can help make the state budget more transparent and understandable to citizens.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet teamed up with Code for Australia and startup Outware to host Budget Hack over two nights in March and April.

The winners, Bling My Suburb, created a way to find out how much the Victorian government was spending on average per person across different parts of the state. Such an app would help citizens understand where their tax spending was going, as well as seeing if any areas were being neglected. The victorious team were awarded a $700 cash prize.

The Mandarin has requested details about when the government expects Bling My Suburb will be publicly accessible.

Multiple government agencies are involved in the Code for Australia fellowship program including the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Public Transport Victoria, the Department of Land, Water, Environment and Planning, and VicRoads. All of Code for Australia’s digital tools and programs are open source, encouraging networking, collaboration and documentation.

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis said in a statement that “with this year’s budget being brought forward to April 27, Budget Hack provides a great opportunity for us to find innovative digital solutions that will make budget outcomes easier understand.

“We don’t pretend to have all the answers which is why we are engaging the industry for events like Budget Hack to help us find new and innovative ways to be a more transparent across government.”

Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings recently revealed the government had reached an agreement with Code for Australia to place programmers within departments and agencies to encourage creative, low cost solutions to policy problems.

Victoria has over 5000 datasets available on its page.

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