Aligned to goals:
- 1.2: Make more data and information available to the public.
- 1.4: Increase the transparency of the grant application and award process.
- 1.5: Maintain up-to-date information on the Department's website about Department offices and key programs.
- 4.1: Encourage openness and communication about effectiveness within the Department.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (S. 2590) is an act of Congress that requires the full disclosure to the public of all entities or organizations receiving federal funds beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2007. The purpose of the act is to provide the public with information about how their tax dollars are spent in greater detail in order to build public trust in government and credibility in the professionals who use these dollars.
The act requires a single searchable website, accessible by the public for free, that includes the following information for each federal award:
- The name of the entity receiving the award;
- The amount of the award;
- Information on the award including transaction type, funding agency, etc;
- The location of the entity receiving the award; and
- A unique identifier of the entity receiving the award.
Federal awards include grants, sub-grants, loans, awards, cooperative agreements, and other forms of financial assistance as well as contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders, task orders, and delivery orders. The legislation does not require inclusion of individual transactions below $25,000 or credit card transactions made before Oct. 1, 2008.
The searchable website USAspending.gov was launched in December 2007, and is maintained by the Office of Management and Budget. The site provides the public with the ability to look at contracts, grants, loans, and other types of spending across many agencies. The data available on USAspending.gov are provided by the Federal Assistance Awards Data System (FAADS) and the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS).
The majority of grant and loan data, and some procurement data are submitted by agencies. An updated version of the USAspending.gov guidance was issued on June 1, 2009, and defines award reporting requirements necessary to comply with both the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). The updated guidance required federal agencies to report data on their awards in never-before-required timeliness and detail. In June 2009, USAspending.gov began processing agency file submissions twice per month, on the 5th and the 20th, instead of once per month. Data on the website is generally refreshed in the first and third weeks of every month.
The latest guidance is available at the following link: M-09-19, Guidance on Data Submission under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA).