Status Accepted – 10 June 2015
DiscussionDiscussion Thread
AuthorsPaul Walsh
Last Updated27 April 2015
Created27 April 2015


This document describes a set of lightweight guidelines for creating Open Spending Enhancement Proposals, or, OSEPs. The document itself follows the guidelines, and can therefore be used as a template for new OSEPs.


The need for a standard structure for OSEPs was first raised here. However, to date the existing OSEPs do not follow any discernable structure.



All OSEP documents should adhere to the following structure. This document is an implementation of this structure.

  • Front matter
    • From matter provides meta data on the proposal. The following fields are required:
      • osep: (integer) The indentifying number for this OSEP. OSEP numbering is sequential.
      • discussion: (url) The URL of the discussion thread for this OSEP.
      • title: (string) The title of this OSEP
      • created: (date) The date that this OSEP was created
      • updated: (date) The date that this OSEP was last updated
      • accepted: (date) empty, or the date that the proposal was accepted
  • Overview
    • A short (one-two paragraphs) description of the proposal.
  • Background
    • A description of any other background information that provides support or rationale for this proposal
  • Proposal
    • The complete proposal, with as much detail as required to present the goals of the proposal.
  • Appendix
    • Any related links or information that is of interest to consideration of the proposal.


There is currently no clear acceptance process for OSEPs. This needs to be defined and clearly stated as part of OSEP-00.


  • Each proposal must have a place for discussing the proposal. This should be accessible via a URL on the discussion key of the front matter.
  • Each proposal should be written in Markdown.
  • Each proposal should be in a file with the following naming convention: osep-{NUMBER}.md


  • The guidelines have been influenced by the Python Enhancement Proposal process, particularly PEP 1 and PEP 9