Public access to reliable and complete federal financial and performance data can foster transparency, improve oversight, and enhance public participation.
Federal Data Transparency
Increasing the availability of federal data can foster accountability and public trust by providing citizens with information on government activities and their results. Various federal laws require agencies to make different types of data open and transparent to the public through public-facing websites. To be useful, those data must meet a wide range of users’ needs related to accessibility, quality, and timeliness, among other things.
However, we have identified a number of challenges that limit the usefulness of federal data. These challenges include:
- Ensuring that agencies’ reporting of approximately $4 trillion in annual federal spending on USAspending.gov is accurate, complete, and timely (some priority recommendations to the Office of Management and Budget involve this issue)
- Establishing data governance to ensure the consistent and comparable reporting of federal spending data
- Improving the accessibility and completeness of federal performance data made available on Performance.gov
- Making agency data assets open and available to the public by default unless otherwise exempt
- Publishing a list of all federal programs, along with related performance and spending information, which could help identify and better manage fragmentation, overlap, and duplication (some priority recommendations to the Office of Management and Budget relate to this topic)
- Responding to requests for agency information in a timely manner