Speed Reads


Federal transparency website inaccurate 90+ percent of the time, figures off by more than $600 billion

The federal government's USASpending.gov — a transparency website that is supposed to offer "government spending at your fingertips" — has been found to offer wildly inaccurate information to the public. A new GAO report has revealed that as of 2012, just 2 to 7 percent of the entries on the site were correct. Additionally, some $619 billion in grants and loans made by government agencies were reported inaccurately or with incomplete information.

After the report was published, 23 percent of the entries for the $619 billion spending projects were updated or completed. The Office of Management and Budget, which is responsible for the site, has vowed to redesign it for "enhanced data and usability." Even if the redesign happens effectively, it may not reach much of an audience: Google Trends data suggests that interest and visits to USASpending.gov have steadily declined since the site's launch.