So I’ve been quite interested in the work TheyWorkForYou have been doing in the UK. It seemed like a good idea to do something similar for Australia – after all we have an election due soonish, and what’s another project to add to my list?
I figured that a good thing to start with would be to create some kind of API to give access to Member of Parliament’s financial interests. After all, it was only a few months ago when the former Federal Minister for Aging Santo Santoro had to resign over his financial dealings.
I was hoping I’d be able to find a page on the Parliament website which I could screen scrape and use as a data source for an API. After quite a lot of searching I was forced to send an email asking for help.
From that inquiry I found that neither the Senate nor the Representative’s Register of Pecuniary Interests is available online, or in any electronic form at all. The only way to see it is to physically go to Canberra, make an appointment and then copy the it which interest you.
As tempting as that sounds, I think I might start somewhere else….