FedSpending.org, the go-to site for all government spending information, has now added some 2006 data–the full set isn’t available from the Feds just yet–plus some new and improved features for keeping track of how Washington manages our money. Congratulations to all at OMB Watch on the upgrades and updates. I’m appending the press release below, but what I think might be the coolest new feature is the summary data, which provides a really nice snapshot–here’s Lockheed Martin, and here’s Halliburton. Compare the trend boxes.
Though we’re two months into 2007, the federal government has yet to release all of the 2006 data–I think it’s generally the Department of Defense that lags behind (though in fairness, they award more contracts than anyone else).
It’s also worth noting that the Office of Management and Budget, who are building official database of government spending required by the Coburn Obama bill, have launched FedSpending.gov, which right now is soliciting suggestions, comments and ideas for the federal site. Nice to see that they link to OMB Watch’s excellent effort. I’m going to make a suggestion of my own, and will post it here when I’m finished.
OMB Watch Launches Upgraded FedSpending.org Website
WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2007—OMB Watch today launched the first in a series of upgrades to its popular FedSpending.org website (http://www.fedspending.org). The site updates make FedSpending.org more comprehensive, more searchable, and more customizable. Journalists, researchers, and the public, among others, will benefit from the upgrades.
The upgraded FedSpending.org site includes the following improvements: • Updated Data – FY 2005 now contains all four quarters of federal assistance data; the most recent publicly available data for FY 2006 has been added for both contracts and assistance (but the data for both remains incomplete at this time); many problems in older data have been corrected. • Summary View – This level of detail has been designed to provide a better overview of contractors, recipients, congressional districts, states, and agencies, as well as other data categories, such as recipient type, assistance type, grant programs, products and services contracted for, and extent of competition. The summary view also includes a new Trend bar chart to quickly compare changes over time. The view is brand new for contracts and significantly upgraded for assistance. • XML Output – The site now provides an XML format for data which will allow advanced users and programmers to design their own interfaces to pull and display FedSpending.org data. • More Searchable – Improvements in page titles and implementation of sitemaps protocol should make it easier to find FedSpending.org data through online search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.). • New Home Tab – The side bar navigation now includes a separate “folder tab” for the home page of the website, making it easier for visitors to navigate among the different sections of the website.
OMB Watch welcomes feedback on the upgrades and ideas for future improvements at http://www.fedspending.org/contact.php. The organization intends to launch two additional upgrades to the FedSpending.org website in 2007. The first is scheduled for June/July and the second is scheduled for October/November. Among the improvements that OMB Watch hopes to include are a mapping function, inflation adjustments, and the ability to combine federal spending data with other census data.
# # #