USASpending.gov numbers off by $1.3 trillion, report says

Ellen Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation watchdog group, slammed the numbers in USASpending.gov as "useless" in a talk at the Gov 2.0 Summit.

In total, the foundation claimed it discovered $1.3 trillion in misreported or unreported federal spending on USASpending.gov in 2009. The foundation said it used a method developed by the Government Accountability Office to compare agency spending accounts for grants and contracts against a separate database of aggregated spending.Aggregated data on USASpending.gov “is almost completely useless,” Ellen Miller, executive director of the Foundation, said Sept. 7 in a presentation at the Gov 2.0 Summit conference in Washington. The conference was sponsored by O’Reilly Media and UBM TechWeb.“We found over $1.3 trillion in broken reporting in 2009 alone, and that is more than half of the spending for that year,” Miller said. “You cannot trust any of the aggregate numbers you get from the site.”Miller said the foundation has shared its findings with government officials, who responded that they are working on fixing the problems, but the results have been primarily redesigns of the USASpending.gov site.“All we have gotten is redesigned websites,” Miller said. “We are beginning to worry that the administration is more interested in style than substance.”More broadly, Miller praised the Obama administration for its focus and commitment to open government and transparency and for the White House’s Open Government Directive of December 2009, but she also suggested the momentum has slowed.“In many respects, this administration has gone further, and faster, than any administration before it,” Miller said. “But now, 20 months later, it appears that the drive for data transparency has stalled.”Regarding Data.gov, the White House’s effort to spur agencies to publish more federal data publicly, Miller criticized federal agencies for publishing only 75 new datasets as a result of their open-government planning in the spring of 2010 and singled out several agencies for selecting datasets with less value for the public.The Interior Department ought to be publishing mine safety inspection data, for example, rather than head counts for wild horses in the national parks, Miller said.Overall, Data.gov has been “hugely disappointing,” she said.

The Health and Human Services Department is the worst offender among federal agencies in failing to report its spending data to the USASpending.gov spending website, according to a new report from the Sunlight Foundation watchdog group.

HHS did not report $495 billion in spending to USASpending.gov in 2009, which represented more than half of the department’s total spending that year, the report states.

Ranking second through fifth in failure to report in the watchdog group's ClearSpending project report were:

  • The Veterans Affairs Department, $48 billion unreported.
  • The Agriculture Department, $14 billion unreported.
  • The Social Security Administration, $13 billion unreported.
  • The Railroad Retirement Board,  $11 billion unreported.


Related stories:

OMB falls short on USASpending.gov data, GAO says

White House issues second-quarter report card for agency open-gov plans






















X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.