Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has become the first fire and rescue service in the country to publish details of its spending transactions over £500.

The service has published online ( details of its invoices in-line with new transparency recommendations from Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles.

The new coalition government has committed to increasing transparency across Whitehall and local authorities and the first step in this process has been to encourage local authorities to publish items of spend over £500 online. Only a handful of local government organisations have made the move so far.

Fire Minister Bob Neill said: "I applaud Staffordshire FRS for being the first service to open up their books. Local people should be able to hold politicians and public bodies to account over how their hard earned cash is being spent and decisions made on their behalf.

"The details released today are an important first step towards getting local authority business out in the open to revolutionise local government."

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford said: "We owe the people of Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire a great debt for the way they support their fire and rescue service on an ongoing basis. With this in mind, we are keen to make sure we give them all the information that we can to allow them to help us move forward."

Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority Cllr Len Bloomer added: "We are fully committed to openness and transparency in all that we do and believe that we should respond to the government's wishes and make available as much information as we can as soon as possible. We will now publish details of all of our invoices paid, which total more than £500, on a monthly basis."