The government will ask all local authorities in England to publish details of the grants and contracts they give to the voluntary sector, according to Greg Clark, the decentralisation minister.
Clark has written to council leaders saying a new code of practice will expect them to release details of all grants and payments they make to charities, community groups and social enterprises.
They will also be expected to publish copies of contracts and tenders that are given to the voluntary sector, the letter says. It adds that a consultation on the proposals will be opened soon.
The letter says publishing the figures "will help voluntary groups understand how services are currently delivered and to assess whether they might be able to put forward a credible bid to run them differently and deliver greater value for money".
Clark also writes that voluntary groups "can draw on the enthusiasm of volunteers and the goodwill of local communities". It says they "offer good value for taxpayers’ money when commissioned to provide services".
A spokeswoman for the Communities and Local Government department said the government’s plans did not include setting a deadline for the publication of the figures but it hoped councils would publish them as soon as possible.