21 surprising effects of the government shutdown you haven’t heard about

21 surprising effects of the government shutdown you haven’t heard about

By Caitlin Dewey, Published: October 2 at 9:00 amE-mail the writer

The government shutdown will temporarily slash the staffs and operations of every “nonessential” federal program — which, as you can imagine, adds up to a whole lot of programs. There are the ones you know about, like the national parks and the panda cam. Then there’s everything else.

A right whale sounds in Cape Cod Bay. The advisory committee that protects whales and other marine mammals is one of many cutting back for the government shutdown. (Bill Greene/Boston Globe via Getty Images)

A right whale sounds in Cape Cod Bay. (Bill Greene/Boston Globe via Getty Images)Here’s 21 effects of the shutdown you might not have heard about.

1) No one will oversee the program that makes sure your organic food is actually organic. That’s called the National Organic Standards Program, and its entire staff was furloughed. Also on the Department of Agriculture furlough list: the people who check that your meats, shellfish, produce, nuts and ginseng are labeled with their country of origin.

2) The Department of Homeland Security will stop civil liberties complaint lines, investigation and training. The training will affect employees on the state, local and federal level.

3) Wild horse and burro adoptions will stall. (Yes, wild horse and burro adoptions are a real thing.) Continue reading “21 surprising effects of the government shutdown you haven’t heard about”

Ten Questions That USASpending.Gov Can’t Answer

POGO Project On Government Oversight - Blog

 Ten Questions That USASpending.Gov Can’t Answer

May 15, 2013

1. How many federal dollars are spent in my community?

Problem: USASpending.gov gives limited state-level spending summaries, but there is no data on a more local level. Searching for federal contract and assistance awards by congressional district, one will find an alarming number of “Unknown” congressional districts (and even some districts blatantly lumped together)—unknown districts with billions of dollars of funding over the years make the whole dataset suspect. There are no spending summaries on a county or municipal level.

2. What small businesses in my community are receiving federal dollars?

Problem: While some data on this is available on USASpending.gov, many local businesses and organizations are left out. Only the first two levels of award recipients are reported, prime awardees (e.g., states) and first-tier sub-awardees (e.g., counties and municipalities). Often there are several levels of federal spending allocation, so local businesses can be second or third-tier sub-awardees and thus are left out of reporting. Continue reading “Ten Questions That USASpending.Gov Can’t Answer”