Gov 2.0: 10 Learnings for India – Part 5

4.       All financial spending data should be released in XBRL by Indian government departments.

XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is the lingua franca of accounting data. It is XML-based and is being increasingly adopted by companies worldwide (and in India). What it does is to allow data to be interpreted and processed in a standardised manner. XBRL is one of the magic keys to open up faster and more detailed scrutiny of government financial data.

The government is the biggest spender of money by orders of magnitude in India. To get more eyes looking at these numbers, it is important to make this data crunched by machines (computers) so that discrepancies can be easily identified, and comparisons across departments and states performed.

Continued tomorrow.