Tracking Federal Funds: USAspending.gov and Other Data Sources

Source: Merete F. Gerli, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, R44027, May 13, 2015

Finding data on federal grants and contracts awarded to states and congressional districts, local governments, nonprofit organizations, contractors, and other eligible entities may present challenges. The official website, USAspending.gov, at http://www.usaspending.gov, collects data on grants, loans, insurance, assistance, and contracts, and it presents various rearching and downloading options to Congress and the public. Because of continued data quality problems identified by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), researchers need to be aware that search results may be incomplete or have inaccuracies. USAspending.gov was created under P.L. 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA), and is to be enhanced by requirements of P.L. 113-101, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act).
Other related sources reviewed in this report include the following:
• Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS);
• Census Federal Audit Clearinghouse;
• Census Federal Aid to States (FAS) and Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR);
• U.S. Budget: Aid to State and Local Governments;
• Comparing state data on federal funds received and federal taxes paid; and
• Additional federal grant awards databases, including sources tracking medical, scientific, and technical research, and related sources providing information on federal programs and funding opportunities.