Follow Us

USASpending.gov Data Quality — Still Bad?

by

We at the labs have written about USASpending.gov several times now. We’ve recently been able to make use of their bulk data downloads to regularly populate some of our webapps with federal grants and contracts data. However, we also have an old snapshot of the data that we received in April of 2010. This snapshot was received on a hard drive that we shipped to USASpending engineers -- before the bulk data downloads existed. Thankfully, we don’t have to go through that process anymore. I wondered how the data has changed over the past year. Last year, the USASpending team took a lot of flak for their data quality issues. Has it been improved? I thought I’d take a look back and see how two data snapshots from April 2010 and December 2010 compare.

Continue reading
Share This:

Searching Earmarks Isn’t Actually That Hard

by

Yesterday morning I watched the first markup session of the Earmark Transparency Act. The bill aims to create a comprehensive database of all earmark requests, not just approved earmarks. In its current version, there are over twenty required data elements, including free text descriptions and justifications of the earmark request, as well as related documents. The bill also calls for huge flexibility in the search interface and the API. Overall, it's a win for transparency and a big technical leap forward in terms of how the government thinks about releasing its data. It's biggest opponent in committee was Senator Carl Levin.

Continue reading
Share This:

CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) Today 59063

Charity Navigator