This dataset is sourced from the United Nations (UN) site which is raw access database from the UN and extracted using the scripts found in the scripts directory of the source data package. In addition to the UN site, versions of Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) can also be found in Eurostat where there are additional languages (e.g. German) for the data. This is directly sourced from Open Knowledge International website (okfn.org) where there is ease of access and where the latest in the series can be found.
Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) is a classification defined by the United Nations Statistics Division. Its purpose is to “classify the purpose of transactions such as outlays on final consumption expenditure, intermediate consumption, gross capital formation and capital and current transfers, by general government”.
Main top level functions involve general public services, defense, public order and safety, economic affairs, environmental protection, housing and community amenities, health, recreation, culture and religion, education and social protection. All of the above functions also comprise of different sub-functions to specifically narrate their use as the main functions are very general in meaning.
These functions are designed to be general enough to apply to the government of different countries. The accounts of each country in the United Nations are presented under these categories. The value of this is that the accounts of different countries can be compared.