The idea to open the Knesset Finance Committee was born out of a casual hallway conversation with Nir Hirshman, Minister Michael Eitan’s media advisor. Things started to roll and we decided to open all the budget transfers that the Ministry of Finance’s Budget Department submits to the Knesset Finance Committee to the public. You can read more on the story behind the project, on what budget transfers are, and how we got our hands on them in this blog post.
The system that was developed by our volunteers is the first of its kind in Israel. Its built on crowd-sourcing – internet users help tag the raw information from printed pages that were photocopied at the Knesset archive and help to create a workable database that is available to all citizens online.
Two objectives are achieved in this project. The first is to prove the importance of opening the budget transfers to the public and the second is to show that there really isn’t any technological obstacle for the Ministry of Finance to do so.
We urge the general public to take part in this project – in tagging and feeding the information into the system or in lending a hand in further developing the website so it can be used in many additional projects.