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USASpending.gov Offers Subcontract Data for First Time

For the first time, USAspending.gov will also track federal agencies’ payment to sub-contractors in addition to those made to direct recipients or prime contractors.

“You will be able to track payments made by federal agencies not only to direct recipients, but also those made by those recipients to other entities – such as by a prime contractor to a sub-contractor,” Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew wrote on the OMB blog.

He said the agency was “leveraging the lessons learned from previous transparency efforts,” including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Overall, Lew said OMB has “worked hard with stakeholders to reduce the burden of reporting, while ensuring that the information provided to the public is useful.”

“This was not an easy task,” he wrote.

The new sub-contractor and sub-grantee data first began appearing on the site in November.

As the data on subcontract funds began flowing in, the site began to offer a “new window [in] to how the government spends hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars,” Government Executive reports.

The new reporting requirements will be phased in, Gov Exec reports. Previously, newly awarded subcontracts had to be reported only if the prime contract amount was more than $20 million,

Between the beginning of October 2010 and the end of February 2011, “the threshold for reporting new sub-contract awards has been lowered to $550,000 or more.

Beginning March 1, 2011, all sub-contracts of prime contracts of at least $25,000 must be publicly reported.

Lew said the enhanced spending and tracking site was part of the Obama administration’s overall efforts to increase transparency and openness in the government.

The revamped spending site comes as the White House marks the first anniversary of its Open Government Directive.

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