States Gradually Turning to “Google Government” with Online Public Spending Databases

The 2006 Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act into marked a huge victory in the struggle to bring greater clarity to government spending. The legislation requires all federal grant and contract funding data to appear in a searchable website by 2009. Given that Washington issues hundreds of billions of dollars yearly to various entities, it is a great stride forward that taxpayers will now have an easy-to-use tool to help make sense of where and why their money is parceled out. In contrast, existing state web databases are geared toward advertising funding or contracting opportunities, not for oversight. Consequentially, most citizens are still waiting for a one-stop web page that will allow them to easily access state spending information.

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