Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Searchable Federal Spending Database

News & Observer

Exasperated by his party's failure to cut government spending, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is seeking cyberhelp.

Coburn wants to create a public database, searchable over the Internet, that would list most government contracts and grants -- exposing hundreds of billions in annual spending to instant desktop view.

Type in "Halliburton," the military contractor, or "Sierra Club," the environmental group, for example, and a search engine would show all the federal money they receive. A search for the words "Alaska" and "bridges" would expose a certain $223 million span to Gravina Island (population 50) that critics call the Bridge to Nowhere.

While advocating for openness, Coburn is also placing a philosophical bet that the more the public learns about federal spending, the less it will want.

I like this idea a lot.

posted by David at 3:02 AM :: Permalink ::

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