Treasury Launches Data Lab on Revamped USAspending.gov
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Fiscal Service launched the Data Lab. This analytics portal is hosted on the newly revamped USAspending.gov site, in accordance with the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-101).
“We congratulate the Treasury’s Fiscal Service team and the Office of Management and Budget for the successful roll-out of the new DATA Act site, USASpending.gov,” said Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Coalition. “The revamped site and Data Lab provide greater insights, accountability and oversight into $3.98 trillion of government spending last year alone. We are encouraged by the progress and recognize that agencies must continue to improve the quality of their data submissions in accordance with the law’s requirements.”
The data set is the first of its kind and will transform the way the government tracks and publishes spending information that was not readily available, previously. Congressional appropriations are directly linked to the activities, contracts, and grants they fund – across all agencies, searchable on a single platform. Additionally, data companies, journalists, non-profits, and Congress can freely access the entirety of the information for outside manipulation and analysis via the bulk download function or the application programming interface (API).
This is all possible with Treasury’s establishment of the openly-documented DATA Act Information Model Schema (DAIMS), the first government-wide open data model. The DAIMS enables agencies to align their previously segmented accounting, procurement, and financial assistance datasets in common view. Treasury’s Data Lab demonstrates the power of this data model.
Data Lab Features:
- Homelessness Analysis: Visualizes national homeless grant spending by region.
- Federal Account Explorer: A browsable map of the 2,000 federal agency accounts.
- Budget Function: How the purpose of spending maps to the spending mechanism.
- Contract Explorer: Intuitively browse agency awards to specific contractors.
The Data Coalition has recommended that the DAIMS now serve as the primary government-wide administrative data model. For instance, OMB should align agency Annual Performance Planning and Annual Financial Reporting processes to the DAIMS. Our testimony before the House Oversight Committee’s 2016 “Power of the Purse” hearing recommended using the DAIMS to better track agency fines, fees, and collections.
Recent administration plans appear to support this vision. The U.S. Treasury’s recently-released 2018 Strategic Plan states that ”[the DAIMS] can be expanded to include other administrative data and link more domains across the federal enterprise…to support decision-making and provide metrics for evaluating program performance and outcomes” (see page 30). The President’s Management Agenda envisions how Goal 2: Levering Data as a Strategic Asset “will build on work like the DATA Act Information Model Schema (DAIMS)” (see page 16).
About the Data Coalition: The Data Coalition is the world’s first, and only, open data trade association. We advocate on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data. Open data enhances accountability, improves government management, reduces compliance costs, and stimulates innovation. Our members represent a cross-section of the technology industry and implementers, employ over two hundred thousand Americans, and have a combined market capitalization exceeding $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit datacoalition.org.
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