NEW WEBSITE TRACKS FEDERAL CONTRACTING DATA
OMB Watch, a nonprofit government watchdog organization located in Washington, DC, recently announced its creation of a new website that permits users to search a database of federal government spending. Itemized information on the more than $12 trillion that the federal government has disbursed between 2000 and 2005 is now available to the public in a useful format.
According to OMB Watch, FedSpending.org makes available much of the information that the recently passed Federal Accountability and Transparency Act will require the Office of Management and Budget to provide to the public. They hope their site will serve as a prototype for OMB’s new website, which was originally scheduled to be online January 1, 2008.
The OMB database is the one that OFCCP Director Charles James discussed in his remarks at the Annual Industry Liaison Group National Conference last August. He indicated the new system would significantly improve OFCCP’s ability to determine who is a federal contractor and thus establish jurisdiction for compliance audits.
OMB Watch states that FedSpending.org relies on the federal government’s data for their website. The data is largely from two sources: the Federal Procurement Data System, which contains information about federal contracts, and the Federal Assistance Award Data System, which contains information about federal financial assistance, such as grants, loans, insurance, and direct subsidies like Social Security.