The new fedspending.org site is a highly impressive new prototype developed in the US by pressure group OMBwatch and will act as a precursor to the recently passedFederal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act that I featured on the blog a few weeks ago:
The search tool gathers federal contract data from the Federal Procurement Data System and information on federal assistance such as grants, direct payments and loans from the Federal Assistance Award Data System. It resembles a system required under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. That measure, which President Bush signed into law last week, drew bipartisan support fueled by the backing of an army of bloggers.
The system was developed over six months for less than $100,000, according to the group, and is intended to function as a benchmark for the newly mandated government system, as well as a public resource. The government system is slated to receive $9 million in its first two years and $2 million annually thereafter for maintenance, and is subject to requirements for how data must be presented that could make it harder to implement.
Some examples of the way the data is presented include:
-Top 100 Recipients of Federal Contract Awards for FY 2005
Very much from the Mysociety approach in taking public data and presenting it in a clear user friendly format. Perhaps a feature project for Mysociety here in the UK? I can't think of any comparable datasets available here.