Frequently Asked Questions
- Why create a database of federal grants/contracts?
- What is the difference between FedSpending.org and the database required under the 2006 Coburn-Obama law (FFATA)?
- Where does the information in FedSpending.org come from?
- What information about grants/contracts can I find in FedSpending.org?
- Are there Federal contracts and/or Federal assistance (grants, loans, etc) data not included in FedSpending.org?
- How authoritative/reliable is the information in FedSpending.org?
- What years are covered in FedSpending.org?
- How often is the information updated?
- Who is responsible for creating FedSpending.org?
- Where can I find information about federal contracts and grants beyond what is contained in FedSpending.org?
- Where did the Advanced Search options go?
- Can I search both the contracts and federal assistance ("Grants") databases at the same time with the new SuperSearch function?
- Why do some searches take longer than others?
- Can I browse the data instead of searching?
- I only know part of the company or recipient name. How do I find the complete listing?
- I cannot find a specific agency or government division (e.g., National Endowment for the Arts, Railroad Retirement Board, Tennessee Valley Authority). Are they missing from FedSpending.org?
- Can I search by characteristics of a contractor (i.e. minority owned, 8A firm, etc.) or type of contract (Walsh-Healy Act, Davis Bacon, etc)?
- Can I select multiple congressional districts?
- Can I find contracts and federal assistance that extend over multiple years?
FedSpending.org Site Functions
- Why do some of the listings of zero dollars ($0.0) show records for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars when clicked on?
- How are joint ventures and partial ownerships of facilities handled?
- What does it mean when a company has additional information in parentheses next to it's name?
- Some of the congressional district search options list name(s) of representatives. Is that the current legislator or the representative who was in office when the money was appropriated?
- What do the "Expand summary" links on FedSpending.org summary pages do?
- Is it possible to see subcategories of the options available on the summary view in FedSpending.org, such as agency sub-offices or more detailed product and service codes?
- Is the year assigned to a contract/grant the year when the contract/grant was signed/obligated or is it the year when the contract/grant was performed/disbursed?
- To which year are multi-year grants or contracts assigned?
- What's the difference between the contracting agency field and the funding agency field in FedSpending.org?
- I want to see my search results using the mapping feature. How do I do this?
- The mapping feature includes details about FedSpending.org data in the United States, but not foreign countries. Where can I find this information?
- I'd like to print out the maps on FedSpending.org. Can I do this?
- What does it mean when a map of search results displays all white – or "no data?"
Search Results and Outputs
- Can I print out tables? Is there a print-only version?
- Can I download data or search results?
- Can I download the standard tables (Top 100 Contractors, Overview by State, etc.)?
- Can I use the browser url address for my search results? Are the search result web addresses permanent or temporary?
- Is it true an individual's sensitive personal information was discovered on FedSpending.org?
- How can I report a factual error in FedSpending.org?
- Some of the data that is listed in state searches includes congressional districts that are outside of the state. How is this possible?
- Why is my name or company listed on FedSpending.org if I never received any federal contracts/grants/loans?
- I applied for a Small Business Administration loan, but never accepted it. Why am I still listed as receiving it?
- How can I have my name/company/information removed from your website?
- Is there any support available to FedSpending.org users?
- Is FedSpending.org accessible for people with disabilities?
- Are there any tutorials that demonstrate the uses and various features of FedSpending.org?
Why create a database of federal grants/contracts?
The purpose of the FedSpending.org database is to give journalists, analysts, government officials, and regular citizens easy access to information on federal spending. Broader access to this information should foster the development of a better informed, active citizenry that has more power to hold elected officials accountable. (Back to Top)
What is the difference between FedSpending.org and the database required under the 2006 Coburn-Obama law (FFATA)?
In Sept. 2006, President Bush signed into law the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S. 2590), which was co-sponsored by Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Barack Obama (D-IL). The new law mandates that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) create and maintain a searchable public database of all federal spending, not unlike FedSpending.org. In fact, OMB built the government website using the FedSpending.org software platform as a foundation. OMB launched the government site at USASpending.gov in December of 2007. Because both sites utilize the FedSpending.org software, the search functions and look and feel of the two website are very similar.
There are differences though. The government website has broadened the scope of information and is required to cover all federal spending, while FedSpending.org is limited to information contained within the FPDS and FAADS government databases (See here for data that is not included on FedSpending.org). The government website also is more timely because the new law requires that data be updated every 30 days. (FedSpending.org will only be updated every six months.) The government website will also be expanded by 2009 to include subcontracts and subgrants data. (Back to Top)
Where does the information in FedSpending.org come from?
All the data contained in FedSpending.org is collected and produced by the federal government and it is responsible for its quality and accuracy.
All data on federal contracts comes from the Federal Procurement Data Center (FPDC), which manages the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS-NG). FPDS-NG collects and disseminates procurement data – or information about contracts that the federal government gives to private companies. The FPDS-NG summarizes who bought what, from whom, and where. See http://www.fpds.gov/.
All data on federal grants comes from the Federal Assistance Award Data System (FAADS), which is operated by the U.S. Census Bureau, and produces a file of standardized data records on all types of financial assistance awards made by Federal agencies. Approximately 600 Federal assistance programs report data to FAADS. All major programs providing transfer payments to individuals, discretionary project grants, loans, or insurance are also covered. See http://www.census.gov/govs/www/faads.html. (Back to Top)
- the granting/contracting agency and/or program
- the name of the grantee/contractor
- the date of the grant/contract
- the amount of the grant/contract
- the purpose of the grant/contract
- the place of performance of a grant, by state or congressional district
- the competitive means by which a contract was awarded
- the type of grant recipient/contractor
- the type of contract service
Are there Federal contracts and/or Federal assistance (grants, loans, etc) data not included in FedSpending.org?
Yes, there are a number of agencies and offices within the federal government that are exempt from reporting to the FPDS and FAADS databases. For a full list of which agencies report to each database please see About the Data.
FPDS does not include the US Postal Service, Congress (including the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Research Service), the entire
U.S.federal judicial court system, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Federal Aviation Administration. The U.S. Mint and the Transportation Security Administration are not required to report to FPDS, but do so anyway.
FAADS does not include international awards or assistance from the federal government. (Back to Top)
How authoritative/reliable is the information in FedSpending.org?
While FedSpending.org is a reliable source of the exact spending information published by the federal government, the data held by the federal government are often missing parts or sections and at times are significantly limited in its usefulness. This is solely because of the way the government collects and manages the information. The Center for Effective Government is not responsible for the quality of the data and hopes the use of this website will prompt the government to improve the quality of the information it collects and provides to the public about federal spending. (Back to Top)
What years are covered in the website?
The website currently contains data for federal contracts from FY 2000 through FY 2008, and partial year information for FY 2009 (through part of the third quarter of FY 2009). FedSpending.org also contains full data sets for federal assistance data from FY 2000 through FY 2007 and the first two quarters of data for FY 2008. (Back to Top)
How often is the information updated?
While the government databases that FedSpending.org uses are updated on a periodic basis, FedSpending.org will be updated approximately every six months. The initial launch of the website was on Oct. 10, 2006, and it was updated with new data and features on Feb. 22, 2007 and again on Sept. 20, 2007. In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the site, a major upgrade was launched on Nov. 29, 2007, including a new mapping feature and a new SuperSearch function. Another data update was launched on July 29, 2008 and the most recent data update was launched in October, 2009. More detailed descriptions about each upgrade of the website can be found in the About This Site section. (Back to Top)
Who is responsible for creating FedSpending.org?
FedSpending.org is a project of the Center for Effective Government, which has developed it with the financial support of the Sunlight Foundation and other foundations. While the Center for Effective Government is responsible for the functionality of the site, the data belongs to the Federal government and responsibility for data quality and accuracy rest with Federal agencies, not the Center for Effective Government. The Center for Effective Government is committed to continuing to update and upgrade the system for the foreseeable future. See About This Site for more information. (Back to Top)
Where can I find out more information about federal contracts and assistance spending beyond what is contained on FedSpending.org?
FedSpending.org contains all the information published by the Federal government in the FPDS and FAADS databases. We do not have any additional information or details about contracts or assistance spending than what is already displayed at the "complete" level of detail option.
The government has launched a new website based on the FedSpending.org software that may have more recently updated data or data that is not contained within the FAADS and FPDS government databases. That website is located at USASpending.gov.
To obtain additional information concerning a contract or other type of federal assistance spending, you will likely need to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. you can read more about FOIA requests and how to file one through the First Amendment Center. The Department of Justice also maintains a website that lists the FOIA contact person at each department and agency office. (Back to Top)
Where did the Advanced Search options go?
FedSpending.org was redesigned to consolidate the advanced search options into a more versatile and powerful SuperSearch (available at the top of the left-hand navigation bar in both the contracts and grants tabs). This feature was first launch in October, 2007.
Previously, the advanced search options were organized intro three separate search functions (by contractor/recipient, by place of performance, and by agency) that often limited the combinations of fields users could run searches on. The consolidation of these three options into one simplifies the user interface and expands the possible searches to allow for a greatly expanded search function that was previously available on the site.
Try the Contracts SuperSearch and Assistance SuperSearch. (Back to Top)
Can I search both the contracts and federal assistance ("Grants") databases at the same time with the new SuperSearch function?
Not at this time. Advanced searches through the SuperSearch still need to be run separately through both the Contracts and Grants tabs in FedSpending.org. We are currently exploring the feasibility of creating a search function to allow queries to run on both databases simultaneously and return combined search outputs. It is unclear when this feature will be made available at this time. (Back to Top)
Why do some searches take longer than others?
Search times are dependent on the amount of data FedSpending.org sifts through, compiles, and displays. Some searches require FedSpending.org to handle large amounts of data while others do not. Search times are related to the number of records to be searched/sorted and not the size of the dollar amounts for different contractors/recipients. FedSpending.org also contains a number of pre-assembled searches (called static tables) that load quickly (such as the "Top 100 Contractors" option). (Back to Top)
Can I browse the data instead of searching?
Contracts and grants data can be browsed by drilling down into summary tables. Users may drill down into table items and browse a summary of the underlying data for that field. For instance, users can see more detailed information on the Overview: Cong. Dist. Recipient table by clicking on an amount listed for as particular congressional district for a given fiscal year. The user will then be able to browse the list of recipients within that congressional district for that year. By changing the level of detail on the information being viewed, users can also browse the details of recipient profiles or each transaction. Additionally, users can expand results displayed from 500 records (which is an established standard for searches in order to increase the site's speed) to all related records by selecting the display all option found at the bottom of each output page. (Back to Top)
I only know part of the company or recipient name. How do I find the complete listing?
FedSpending.org has a built-in function that allows searching only partial text within the contractor or recipient name field. Users can use this functionality by typing in the text they know, and putting an asterisk ("*") after the text. FedSpending will find all entries in the database starting with the text entered. For instance, if users wanted to find contracts for the Devils Lake Sioux Tribe, but could only remember that "Lake" was in the name of the contractor, entering "Lake*" into the contractor name field for FY 2007 will yield 238 companies with the name "Lake" in their title. The user could then scroll (or use the control-F function on many web browsers) to isolate the entry for the Devils Lake Sioux Tribe for FY 2007 (which, incidentally, is here). (Back to Top)
I cannot find a specific agency or government division (e.g., National Endowment for the Arts, Railroad Retirement Board, Tennessee Valley Authority). Are they missing from FedSpending.org?
No, smaller agencies and administrations within the federal government are combined in summary tables under the "All other agencies" category. In order to search for those offices and administrations, go to the SuperSearch and select the desired office or division from the Agency pulldown menu. The selections are listed alphabetically by department/agency and then alphabetically within each department/agency. (Back to Top)
Can I search by characteristics of a contractor (i.e. minority owned, 8A firm, etc.) or type of contract (Walsh-Healy Act, Davis Bacon, etc)?
Yes. The functionality to search by contractor characteristics was added to FedSpending.org on September 20, 2007, and the functionality to search by type of contract was added on July 29, 2008. These are both available through the SuperSearch under the "Contracts" tab, and are called "Contractor Characteristics" and "Legislative Mandates" respectively. (Back to Top)
Can I select multiple congressional districts?
No. Currently, users cannot search on multiple congressional districts at the same time. Searches on individual congressional districts can be performed from the sidebar menu or from the SuperSearch pages. (Back to Top)
Can I find contracts and federal assistance that extend over multiple years?
Maybe. FedSpending.org tracks transactions rather than individual contracts or grants, and, therefore, the website will permit users to determine if a transaction is related to a multi-year award or not. Please note, however, that “multi-year contracts” is not currently available as a search criterion in any of the advanced searches. This information can only be found by examining data on individual grants or contracts using either the Extensive or Complete Level of Detail options. (Back to Top)
FedSpending.org Site Functions
Why do some of listings of zero dollars ($0.0) show records for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars when clicked on?
Some tables display amounts rounded to the nearest million (and in some cases, billion). Contract amounts that are not large enough to be rounded-up to $1 million (or $1 billion) will be displayed as zero ($0.0). However, not all zero dollar ($0.0) listings contain entries - some are actually zero. Typically, the display of amounts as zero ($0.0) only occurs in results displayed at Low level of detail. However, all records are present and the actual amounts and records can be seen when the zero ($0.0) listing is clicked on or if the level of detail for the results is increased. FedSpending.org has not removed or deleted any data. (Back to Top)
How are joint ventures and partial ownerships of facilities handled?
Sometimes contract and grant recipients are partially owned by more than one company. FedSpending.org treats these joint ventures as entirely separate entities with no connection to the original companies. Contracts or federal assistance for these partnerships are totaled and tracked as a group. Often, name searches will also produce listings of these joint ventures along with a listing of the stand alone company. Other groups have sometimes split these awards between the owner companies and included them in totals for those companies, but FedSpending.org does not. (Back to Top)
What does it mean when a company has additional information in parentheses next to its name?
Before September 20, 2007, FedSpending.org grouped certain companies together under larger headings such as "miscellaneous foreign contractors" because they lacked parent company associations that FedSpending.org uses to display data (this is most likely because they did not have a DUNS number (see the glossary for an explaination of what a DUNS number is). This policy was updated with the new version released on September 20, 2007 thanks to user feedback and a desire to show data more accurately. Now FedSpending.org lists those companies who have data in the company name field but who do not have a DUNS number as if they were parent companies. To help distinguish these entries in FedSpending.org from those we do know to be parent companies, we have included additional information in parenthesis next to the contractor name, such as "(No DUNS information)" or "(classified domestic contractor)." This improvement allows users to access more company names through FedSpending.org searches while increasing the data assignable to those companies through the FedSpending.org summary interface.(Back to Top)
Some of the congressional district search options list name(s) of representatives. Is that the current legislator or the representative who was in office when the money was appropriated?
When FedSpending.org lists one name associated with a congressional district, that person is the current office holder for that district. However, even when displaying the most current data on federal spending and the current office holder, the legislator was not necessarily in Congress when the money was appropriated or spent. This is because official term dates for office holders and fiscal years are not identical.
Sometimes when multiple years are selected or when a new legislator is elected, FedSpending.org will list two or more names of legislators for a single congressional district, so long as each previous legislator has served for at least six months. Like with individual names, these names do not necessarily mean those legislators were in office when the money was appropriated or spent. They are given for reference purposes only.
If your search is for a single fiscal year, the site will display along with the congressional district the names of those legislators who held office in the district for at least six months during that fiscal year and the one before it. If you search is for all fiscal years, the site will display the names of all legislators who held office for at least six months from FY 1999-2006. (Back to Top)
What do the "Expand summary" links on FedSpending.org summary pages do?
Previously, the "summary" output pages on FedSpending.org displayed the top five or top 10 of certain search categories such as products and services or contracting agencies. FedSpending.org now has the functionality to expand those lists to include all data under each category. For instance, instead of viewing the top five contracting agencies purchasing from a given contractor, one click will display all agencies purchasing from that contractor without running a new search.
This was a frequently requested feature by FedSpending.org users and an excellent suggestion for increasing the accessibility of data on FedSpending.org.
Have a suggestion of your own? Send it to us through the Contact form on the website. (Back to Top)
Is it possible to see subcategories of the options available on the summary view in FedSpending.org, such as agency sub-offices or more detailed product and service codes?
This is not possible through the summary view, but it possible through the new SuperSearch feature. Greater detail and search functionality is available for both agency searches and products and service codes in this search interface. (Back to Top)
How are contract and assistance transactions assigned to fiscal years?
For contracts, the fiscal year used on Fedspending.org is the fiscal year of the file that the individual award record was supplied in. In other words, the federal contracts database (FPDS) provides awards records grouped into files by fiscal year, and these are the fiscal years assigned to the data records.
For federal assistance, each record has a fiscal year plus quarter data field, and this is used unless it is indicated that the record is a correction for a previous fiscal year and quarter. In that case, the previous fiscal year and quarter that the record corrects is used to determine the fiscal year for the record.
Contract records fiscal years are supposed to be based on Award/Signed Date. For basic agreements for which there is no funding on the basic document, the award date is the date mutually agreed upon by the contracting officer and the contractors. Therefore, the government generally should base its assignment of fiscal years on the award/signed date. However, Fedspennding.org does not examine the Award/Signed Date of records to check this process.
For federal assistance, the award date refers to the date the funds were obligated. For awards that are funded at a future date, the award date is the date signed by the contracting officer. This award date is supposed to be the date used to assign the fiscal year by the government. However, again, Fedspending.org does not examine the award date to check this process.(Back to Top)
To which year are multi-year grants or contracts assigned?
While multi-year contracts and grants exist, the FedSpending.org data tracks transactions rather than totals for individual contracts or grants. One contract or grant can have many transactions related to it, representing additional disbursements, extensions, or modifications. Transactions all have a specific date upon which they took place and are assigned to the appropriate fiscal year based on that date, even if they were part of a multi-year contract or grant that started years earlier. (Back to Top)
What's the difference between the contracting agency field and the funding agency field in FedSpending.org?
Occasionally, the federal government will issue a contract through one office or agency, but a different office or agency will provide the funding for that contract. In these cases, the office or agency that issues the contract will be listed as the "contracting agency," while the one that provides the funding will be listed as the "funding agency." (Back to Top)
I want to see my search results using the mapping feature. How do I do this?
There are two ways to view your search results in the mapping feature. One way is to click on the small "Map It" icon that appears at the top of all search results to the left of the "Search Criteria Used." The second way is to select "Map" from the Level of Detail pull-down menu in the upper right hand corner. (Back to Top)
The mapping feature includes details about FedSpending.org data in the United States, but not foreign countries. Where can I find this information?
The mapping feature only shows spending within the United States, but information on spending totals outside of the U.S. for each applicable search are available in the chart below each map. See this map output for an example: State Department Contracts, FY 2006 (Back to Top)
I'd like to print out the maps on FedSpending.org. Can I do this?
Yes. Each map has the option of a "printer-friendly" version available in the upper-right hand corner of the map output page. When selecting the printer-friendly version for a map, the output on the screen may look like it is overlapping with the navigation bar. The printed page, however, will come out clean. (Back to Top)
What does it mean when a map of search results displays all white – or "no data?"
The mapping function in FedSpending will provide maps of states and congressional districts even when there is no underlying data for spending in that area. This does not mean that no federal resources are spent in that particular area, but rather that the underlying federal spending database contains no information about spending in that location.
For an example of a map search results with "no data," see this search for assistance spending mapped by recipent address in California for FY 2006: "no data" example (Back to Top)
Search Results and Outputs
Can I print out tables? Is there a print-only version?
Yes. FedSpending.org contains a printer-friendly version for all search outputs. The link for the printer-friendly version is available in the upper right hand corner of all static and search pages. (Back to Top)
Can I download data or search results?
Yes. FedSpending.org currently permits the downloading of search results in two formats; 1) comma-delimited ASCII text and 2) tab-delimited ASCII text. Either format should open easily in various spreadsheet or database programs that users may wish to utilize for further analysis. To download search results simply change the "Output" option in the box in the upper right of the search results. The output defaults to html for viewing in an internet browser. Select either Comma-Delimited ASCII or Tab-Delimited ASCII from the menu and click on the "Go" button. The search results will remain on the page and you will be prompted to select where on your computer you prefer to save the file and will be able to change the file’s name. The file can then be opened directly into a spreadsheet or database program such as Microsoft’s Excel. Please note there will be some programming code that appears at the top and bottom of the file. This data can simply be deleted from the opened file and then the file can be resaved.
It appears that some software programs, particularly Microsoft Excel, assume that text files being opened are comma-delimited, which will create new columns after every comma in the data of a tab-delimited file. If this is occurring to your tab-delimited files from FedSpending.org, there are two possible solutions you may want to try. First, switch to a comma-delimited download and see if your software processes it correctly. If the comma-delimited files does not work or there is some other reason you need to use the tab-delimited file, then you will likely need to save the tab-delimited file to your computer and use an "Import Data" function in your software rather than trying to open the file directly. When importing data, spreadsheet software should give you the option to select tab-delimited as the file structure.
If you have a program which accepts data formatted into XML, you can also choose to have your search results downloaded in XML format. (Back to Top)
Can I download the standard tables (Top 100 Contractors, Overview by State, etc.)?
No. Currently, FedSpending.org does not allow the results of these tables to be downloaded in delimited or XML format because they are not standard search results. However, we hope to be able to add this function shortly. (Back to Top)
Can I use the browser url address for my search results? Are the search result web addresses permanent or temporary?
Search results urls are permanent. The web addresses of search results and standard tables can be forwarded and linked to for easy use by others. The addresses are very long because the address represents the exact search criteria used and the level of detail selected. The addresses for search results are not “permanent” in the sense that the information displayed will never change and some addresses may even stop working as updates to the databases change where information may be listed. However, because FedSpending.org is updated approximately twice a year, links to search results should remain active for at least six months. (Back to Top)
Is it true an individual's sensitive personal information was discovered on FedSpending.org?
On April 13, 2007, a FedSpending.org user notified us that her Social Security number was embedded in the Federal Award ID that was publicly available on our site. We confirmed the data on FedSpending.org was identical to the information being disseminated by the Census Bureau and suggested she contact the Census Bureau to have the problem corrected. After she contacted the government, the Census Bureau requested we remove the Federal Award ID for this individual, which we did.
This discovery of sensitive personal information prompted the federal government to take swift action to protect individual citizen's personal information and ended a dangerous, decades-old practice of using Social Security numbers in federal indentifier codes at certain government agencies. Read more about this incident and the Center for Effective Government's subsequent response and actions. (Back to Top)
How can I report a factual error in FedSpending.org?
We hope to provide a mechanism to report errors or inaccuracies in government data found in FedSpending.org directly to the appropriate government office in the future. Until that function is available, please feel free to use the feedback form to report such matters to us, and we will help put you in touch with the appropriate government agency.
** Please note: the Center for Effective Government will not make any changes to the data based on reports of errors or inaccuracies. The Center for Effective Government is not in a position to confirm or deny claims of inaccuracies, because the data is maintained by the federal government. FedSpending.org will not post changes based on claims of inaccuracies until the government updates or modifies the entry in their databases. We are hopeful that increased accessibility and use of the data will help locate and correct errors in the database and lead to long-term improvements in data quality. (Back to Top)
Some of the data that is listed in state searches includes congressional districts that are outside of the state. How is this possible?
The government data in FedSpending.org often has errors that would lead to these types of inconsistencies. Often it is not possible for FedSpending.org to determine the location of certain spending data because the address and the state code for that spending are in conflict (i.e. the address says the spending happened in Texas, but the state code is for Montana). In these instances, FedSpending.org includes the data exactly as it appears in government data systems. Therefore data displayed as coming from a congressional district in Texas will appear in the Montana state summary. It is not possible given the information the federal government makes public to perform additional research to determine which location is correct. (Back to Top)
Why is my name or company listed on FedSpending.org if I never received any federal contracts/grants/loans?
The most likely answer is there was an error in the data government is reporting to the public about federal spending. We will always double-check FedSpending.org with the original government source upon request, but so long as the information matches the government source, we cannot change any information in FedSpending.org. If the government changes their data, we will update FedSpending.org based on the most recent government data that is publicly available.
It's also possible you received assistance in the form of a loan or insurance payment that was either guaranteed or insured by the federal government. It may be that these funds were not sent directly from the federal government to you, but because they involve federal resources or liabilities, they are included in government databases. (Back to Top)
I applied for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, but never accepted it. Why am I still listed as receiving it?
It has become apparent the spending data the SBA reports to the Census Bureau for the FAADS database contains information about both loans that were authorized to individuals/businesses but no disbursement of funds was ever made to that individual/business, as well as loans that were both authorized and a disbursement of funds was made. This means that some SBA loans displayed on FedSpending.org were not accepted by the person or business listed as receiving the money. Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell which loans were disbursed and which were simply authorized by the SBA. The Center for Effective Government has alerted the SBA to this problem and is working with them to help to resolve it. We have also added a explanitory note to all search results that display SBA loan data - see example of explanatory note. (Back to Top)
How can I have my name/company/information removed from your website?
So long as the information/data on FedSpending.org matches the original government database, we are not able to remove or change any information on FedSpending.org. We will not make any changes to the data based on reports of errors or inaccuracies as we are not in a position to confirm or deny these claims, because the data is maintained by the federal government. We will not change or remove information on FedSpending.org until we have confirmation the government has changed/updated their data first.
We are aware that the level of quality of government data used for FedSpending.org varies greatly, and at times is quite poor. One of our hopes in creating this website was to raise the level of awareness about federal spending data quality and create pressure for the government to do a better job in reporting spending information. We are hopeful that increased use of the data will help locate and correct errors in the database and lead to long-term improvements in data quality. In fact, we have already seen FedSpending.org improve data quality. (Back to Top)
Is there any support available to FedSpending.org users?
The best method to report a problem or ask a question on FedSpending.org is to use our feedback form. The question or message will be forwarded to the best person to handle the matter, and they will respond as quickly as possible. If you need immediate help, contact the Center for Effective Government at 202-234-8494 (9am-6pm ET Monday-Friday). (Back to Top)
Is FedSpending.org accessible for people with disabilities?
FedSpending.org complies with all of the automatic checkpoints of the Section 508 Accessibility Guidelines, and has been manually verified for nearly all of the manual checkpoints.
This compliance has been tested using the Watchfire WebXACT program. Because FedSpending uses dynamically generated Web pages, it is not possible to test literally every page. However, each dynamically generated output style can be tested. Screenshots of Watchfire WebXACT results for each of these styles is available in the About This Site section of the website. We hope to continue to upgrade FedSpending.org's accessibility for individuals with disabilities in forthcoming updates based on guidelines established by the disability community. If you have any difficultly accessing FedSpending.org, please contact the Center for Effective Government immediately at 202.234.8494. (Back to Top)