House disbursement data for 2010 now online


We’ve released a cleaned up version of the House disbursements data that covers the first quarter of 2010, during which the House spent more than $339 million on salaries, expenses and equipment.

Last month we aggregated and analyzed all the data in the statement of disbursements, which the House started publishing online in a PDF format in December 2009, showing for the first time the private firms that do the most business with the House.

To make this data useful, the Sunlight Labs team had to parse the information in the PDF so it could be searched, sorted and aggregated in a meaningful manner. To download this data go here and once you are on the Socrata table, click on the menu button and download the entire data set in any format you are comfortable with.

You can download this data for a smaller subset like for a specific member of Congress and hone in on certain details. For example, with the last round of records, CQ-Roll Call found that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was paying the most among House members for district office space, in her case in San Francisco.

Some of the criticisms we had of the data from the last time still hold good. For instance, individual records still omit detailed information about the places to which House members or their staff are traveling or the make and model of computers purchased, details that were available when the House published this information in huge, hard bound books.