Sunlight Foundation gets Obama-Coburn watchdog database done

Sunlight Foundation gets Obama-Coburn watchdog database done

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Hey, looks like a major watchdog database, USASpending.gov was launched today, inspired by Senators Obama and Coburn, done by OMBWatch and funded by Sunlight Foundation.

CORRECTION: FedSpending.org was the original database Sunlight funded…which was built by OMBWatch, and then OMB essentially hired OMBWatch to build USASpending.gov based on what OMBWatch had already done.my mistake!

The story is told by the Washington Post here but the inside story is told by Micah Sifry who's involved with Sunlight:

Sunlight funded OMB Watch to build FedSpending.org (the first searchable database of all govt contracts and grants), for $325K.

They built it. Then the Obama-Coburn bill was passed (with help from a cross-partisan coalition of bloggers, who smoked out the Senator who had put a secret hold on the bill) mandating that the OMB build its own official database, for $15 million.

OMB Watch offered to help OMB get the job done…even though the watchdog group and the government agency are usually major adversaries.

As the attached story in the Washington Post explains, after some hesitation, OMB's director decided to work with OMB Watch, and they licensed the software from OMBWatch for $600K. The new site, USASpending.gov, launched today, two weeks ahead of schedule.

Disclosure: I'm involved with Sunlight, but can take no credit for anything.

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3 Comments

twodogkd

Sunlight link is nonworking, at least on my computer that is currently operation in moxilla safe mode (don't know how to get rid of the safe mode).

twodogkd

Tested it a couple more ways, the sunlightfoundation.com website does not appear to be working.

Richard Reiss

The U.S. budget is fascinating! I propose all 10th graders should study it in their curriculum, as a requirement for graduation. That might have a good effect on students and on politicians alike. (And it wouldn't have been practical till now.)

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