Guardian releases crowd-sourcing app to pick over MPs expenses

Perhaps stung by the fact they were never offered – or perhaps just didn’t offer enough money? – the UK MPs expenses story which the Telegraph has made so much hay with, The Guardian is taking a different tack. Parliament has now released all of the expenses online, so the Guardian has released an application to pick through the expenses using crowd sourcing.

Users can dig through the 700,000 documents of MPs’ expenses to identify individual claims, or documents they think merit further investigation. Duck houses anyone?

You can work through your own MP’s expenses, or just hit the button below to start reviewing anything. About 1,000 have been reviewed already. Here’s the pitch:

We hope that many hands can make light work of the thousands of documents released by Parliament in relation to MPs’ expenses. We, and others – perhaps you? – are using these tools to review each document, decide whether it contains interesting information, and extract the key facts.

Some pages will be covering letters, or claim forms for office stationery. But somewhere in here is the receipt for a duck island. And who knows what else may turn up. If you find something which you think needs further attention, simply hit the button marked “investigate this!” and we’ll take a closer look.

Examples of things to look out for: food bills, repeated claims for less than £250 (the limit for claims not backed up by a receipt), and rejected claims.

There’s a prize for anyone who finds “iPhone application” on a receipt. Ok, just joking…