There are various aspects of the code that seem to me to make it inefficient.
Firstly the amount of £500 is ridiculous. I was at a client where they were looking at Cornwall County payments over £500...it produces reims of gibberish that is not useful for measuring economy efficiency or effectiveness.Ther was a phone supplier paid £79,500 or so...what for? How many phones?.. was it phones or phone installation? or was it for IT links? ...the unanswered questions far outweigh the provided information.. and how do we know whether the call cost was high or low etc etc
The nature of the information then could then be improved in quality.
As far as parish and town councils are concerned they lack capacity or expertise to be fully compliant with such a code. It would almost certainly result in significant additional cost. Most do not even have computerised accounting in place nor do they have accounting staff. The vast majority are staffed by a single employee who is less than full time who is expected to carry out a range of tasks already that is broader than is expected in most posts, and therefore some aspects are already weak in certain areas. Few are IT whizz kids! Some still write minutes by hand!
There are contradictions.
If the system is cumbersome to administer for small organisations are the costs justified? Is it efficient use of taxpayers money to tell them that a payment for £500 has been made or is it better to encourage more people to get involved in running a local council, given that most vacancies are uncontested? Having such a system has an additional cost attached:
Someone has to prepare and review all this data. What does that cost?
There has to be webspace on which to put all this data. What does that cost?
Someone has to uplift and update all this data. What does that cost?
How much saving to the public purse will be made as a result of publishing all the data? Can it even be quantified? Is it worth the investment?
At a time when the drive is to get people involved in localism activity, will this act as a force for or against people considering virtually unpaid service when subject to Big Brother like scrutiny of this idiosyncratic nature?
There are numerous parish websites already that are not able to keep up to date with publication of minutes and agendas?
I am reminded that under the old Best Value Regime Councils published quite a lot of data to the public most of which was promptly recycled because they were told they had to do this by the Audit Commission not because it was useful.
Is this not similar? The drive for this comes from where? The very place that says it wants to take its hands off local services Central Government.
I would like to know what assessment has been undertaken to look at parish and town council capacity to undertake this. Whether costs have been assessed. Whether anyone involved in making this proposal has any practical experience of what local people want or is it just another catchy of the moment idea that will cost a lot and produce little.
If you want to identify waste, this seems to be a very inefficent way to do so. It is also probably going to further disillusion both Cllrs and staff in parish councils and make retention and recruitment even more difficult when turnover of parish clerks is generally running at 20% per annum and filling council seats is becoming more and more precarious.