I note with displeasure that a measure designed to show us how much our government is spending is almost completely useless, because that same government isn’t updating it properly.
A new bipartisan Senate report revealed more than half of the government’s public data on federal spending is wrong, as the website USAspending.gov is riddled with errors.
. . .
The subcommittee reviewed over two dozen inspector general reports and determined 55 percent of the spending data submitted to USAspending.gov was inaccurate. The errors accounted for $240 billion in spending during the second quarter of 2017, according to the report.
The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, or DATA Act, required federal spending to be easily accessible to the public through a searchable website, which became USAspending.gov … but agencies are not meeting their requirements to submit accurate, consistent, and reliable data on its spending.
The agency in charge of USAspending.gov—the Treasury Department—is among the worst culprits, as 96 percent of its own data is inaccurate.
. . .
Nearly every department and agency had high error rates. The State Department reported an 83.6 percent accuracy error rate, accounting for over $3 billion worth of spending.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development failed to report $17.9 billion, and $37.8 billion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s spending data was inaccurate—an error rate of 97.1 percent.
The inaccuracies included the food stamp program, or SNAP, which spent $68 billion last year.
“USAspending.gov, however, only published awards totaling $160 million, less than 1 percent of the program’s spending for 2017,” the report said.
There’s more at the link.
One might argue, charitably, that bureaucrats are simply too busy with other important work to keep the Web site updated as it should be. On the other hand, one can’t help but wonder whether those same bureaucrats would prefer us not to know where, when and how our taxpayer dollars are being spent . . . and what better way to ensure that than to obfuscate, obscure and evade the proper reporting of expenditure?
I smell several large, odoriferous bureaucratic rats.