The UK government, in an attempt to save 25% across all government departments, has embarked on a crowd-sourcing exercise with a special ‘spending challenge’ website. Scrutiny over spending is also a major theme with all purchaes over £500 to be visible on the web and a host of “where was it spent?” websites appearing such as http://www.wheredoesmymoneygo.org/
The principal behind the spending challenge website is simple; submit your idea and it will be considered. According to the website, some 20,000 ideas have been collected during the first week. The process isn’t particularly clever or transparent (you can’t see the ideas like uservoice.com) but it is simple and, my guess is, quite effective.
The gloom continued as the national digital participation programme was rescoped and the 191 innovation fund applications (seeking just under £28m) were canned.
However, how about government being better at generating revenue? In other words, ideas to raise money. For example, advertisements on council websites (Google Adsense is already being used by a number of UK authorities and advertisement placements are prominent on others such as Lincolnshire). A simple” donate” button or sponsored search boxes (e.g. http://www.whitebox.org.uk/) might do wonders to offset costs. After all, you can already sponsor a roundabout to help with maintainence costs.
The lack of seed funding for new innovation is a worry, perhaps we should refocus our efforts on making bank investments more transparent?