The government believes that data transparency should extend beyond local spending and that full disclosure should be every council's default position.
The code of practice calls on local authorities to shine a light on every part of their business, from employees' salaries over £58,200 and details of all their contracts and tenders to details of grants to voluntary organisations, performance information and the locations of public land and building assets.
Eric Pickles said:
"We have always maintained that the best local leaders, those with control of the public purse strings, should be open and accountable for every one of their decisions. We have abolished top down inspection making local accountability more important than ever. Central Government has a role in ensuring that local people can exercise their right to know how their money is being spent and have the information they need to question that spending."A summary of responses to the consultation, in February to March this year, of the code of recommended practice for local authorities on data transparency has also been published.
"But spending data is just one aspect of transparency. There is a wealth of information on the inner workings of councils across the country - from senior salaries and council assets to everyday decision making processes - and we shouldn't have to be data experts to see and understand it."
"The code sets out clear expectations. It will help unlock more information and increase accessibility for everyone, taking us one step closer to our ambition to be the most transparent government in the world."