Records of actual (past) national government spending at a detailed transactional level; A database of contracts awarded or similar will not considered sufficient. This data category refers to detailed ongoing data on actual expenditure. Data submitted in this category should meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Individual record of transactions.
  • Date of the transactions
  • Government office which had the transaction
  • Name of vendor
  • amount of the transaction
  • Update on a monthly basis

Data Location

Comments

2014 comments (taken from Hudson Hollister email): The Treasury Department receives and processes payment requests from nearly every agency (with the prominent exception of DoD). These payments requests collectively are known as the Payments Information Repository, or PIR. Treasury promised in 2012 testimony to the Senate that it would publish the PIR as open data, but has not fulfilled the promise (and the DATA Act doesn't require it to).

Details on Treasury's PIR promise are here: http://datacoalition.blogspot.com/2012/07/senate-hearing-illuminates-need-for.html

Becky Sweger - National priorities project After a GAO audit (http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-476) of USASpending.gov was published this summer, HHS agreed to start submitting aggregated Medicare spending data. I can confirm that Medicare benefits payments are showing up now (they didn't as of a few months ago), but didn't confirm the data are complete. If Medicare benefits are now represented in USASpending.gov, it's likely no longer true that the site represents "only a small part of federal spending data." I'd re-reword to "So while the data are available, they represent an incomplete picture of federal spending that does not include government salaries, benefits, and other operating expenditures." Agency procedures for reporting money paid to (or on behalf of) individuals are inconsistent. The Social Security Administration has always done a great job of reporting. HHS finally decided to aggregate and report Medicare. USDA, however, doesn't accurately report food stamp benefits in USASpending.gov. Since this type of payment represents the largest chunk of U.S. spending, it's important to have consistent and enforced guidelines for reporting.

2013 comments: The data at USASpending.gov accounts for only a fraction of all government spending, and it is organized in a way that makes it hard to understand and use. So while the data are available, it's only a small part of federal spending data. It does not include expenses on government salaries and operating expenditures or information on Medicare, the nation's government sponsored medical insurance for the elderly (~20% of total spending). There are no government-wide spending records that would actually be more helpful --- that is, the government doesn't collect the type of data about its own spending that would be useful to the open government world.

The data available at USAspending.gov comes from a variety of sources and is presumably licensed based on the original source licenses: http://usaspending.gov/learn?tab=Sources%20of%20Data

Reviewer comments

Added comments form the US

Data Availability

  • N Openly licensed
  • N Is the data available for free
  • N Is the data machine readable
  • N Available in bulk
  • N Is the data provided on a timely and up to date basis
  • Y Is data in digital form
  • N Publicly available
  • Y Does the data exist
  • N Is the data available online
Key:
  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure
  • No data

Details

Date the data became available   Unknown
Format of data   Unknown
Reviewer   Mor Rubinstein
Submitters   Mor Rubinstein
Last modified   Thu Dec 04 2014 17:14:52 GMT+0000 (UTC)