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”