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Friday, July 21, 2006

Proposed database would track federal spending (7/20/06)

"A Senate measure debated in committee on Tuesday would boost the transparency and accessibility of federal contract and grant spending, but political and logistical challenges could hinder its approval.

Supporters of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S. 2590) testified that the bill presents a bilateral approach to trimming federal spending by enhancing public scrutiny of expenditures. The measure would require the Office of Management and Budget to oversee creation of a free, searchable, Web-accessible database with detailed information on grants and contracts awarded by the federal government.

The database would have to include entries for funding amount, location of performance, originating program and agency, and an entity's 10-year history of federal funding, and would have to be user-friendly to both experienced and casual visitors. Data would be added within 30 days of award, and exclusions would ensure the privacy of payments made to individuals, as well as those with national security sensitivities. "

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