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Sunday, February 18, 2007

OMB seeks input on FederalSpending.gov

The Office of Management and Budget wants the public to help it work out kinks with FederalSpending.gov, a new Web site permitting scrutiny of how taxpayer funds are spent by federal agencies. A September law requires OMB to create by January 2008 a user-friendly site to allow the public to search through all federal contracts, grants, loans and other awards. OMB launched the site early so the public could help shape it.

“This site is about transparency. That’s why we’re posting our implementation plan and asking for feedback directly from the public about how they want to design this Web site that puts information about federal spending at their fingertips,” said Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management.

The site also provides links to information about federal spending, frequently asked questions about the law, and an ambitious schedule for how OMB plans to comply with the law by the end of this year.

By the end of the month, OMB plans to identify what financial information reporting requirements will need to be changed and what it will take to make that data searchable. Agencies will be informed of new information collection and reporting requirements in March. A Web site with search capabilities will be developed by April.

-M.Z. Hemingway, FederalTimes.com

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