Lawmakers want more spending data online

House members have introduced legislation that would require posting dollar figures and copies of contract documents on USASpending.gov, a Web database that shows what the government is spending and who’s getting the money.

On June 26, Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.)  and six co-sponsors introduced the Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act, a House version of a bill Sen. Barack Obama introduced June 3. The legislation has been nicknamed the Google for Government Act.

Murphy said the bill would allow the public to use Web searches to see how the government is operating.

Both measures would allow visitors to see copies of federal contracts, information about competitive bidding, government lease agreements, spending earmarks, federal audit disputes, work quality, federal tax compliance, violations or criminal activities and government reports.

The administration launched USASpending.gov in December, after legislation  introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Obama became law.

The site allows taxpayers to view approximately $1 trillion in federal grants, contracts, earmarks. It provides updates of information on federal spending and displays spending data according to contractor, grantee, and congressional district.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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