OMB Releases Guidelines for Government Spending Data
The Office of Management and Budget is trying to make federal spending data easier to interpret.
OMB has released a new framework for federal agencies reporting their spending — standard definitions for financial terms, among other elements — as part of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014. The DATA Act requires federal agencies to report categories such as how much congressional funding they receive, or how much money they’re spending on specific projects, and post it to USAspending.gov.
Though the federal government produces large volumes of spending data, “in some cases, the same words are used in different ways,” and “inconsistencies make it difficult to use this data in a comprehensive way,” according to a blog post by David Mader, controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management at OMB, and David Lebryk, fiscal assistant secretary at the Department of Treasury. (The fiscal year 2016 budget proposal allots $84 million for agencies to implement the DATA Act, according to the post.)