Transparency Board Urges Single Government Spending ID

December 16, 2011

Agencies should integrate the various computer systems they use to track federal grant, contract and award spending and assign each payment a universal identification number that will be recognized governmentwide, according to a report released Wednesday.

The government also should leverage new Web-based investigative techniques pioneered by the stimulus-tracking Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board to detect contractor and grantee fraud, according to the report from the Government Accountability and Transparency Board, which President Obama charged in June with finding new ways to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in federal spending.

Office of Management and Budget Chairman Jack Lew announced the report in a White House blog post Wednesday evening.

The board's recommendations were not unexpected. Chairman Earl Devaney, who also chairs the Recovery Board, advocated for both measures before his appointment. He said it would take significant evidence from agencies to convince him a universal spending ID wasn't feasible.

The recommendations, however, take the administration a step closer to accomplishing a series of transparency and efficiency initiatives for which it has advocated domestically and pledged to accomplish as part of its commitments under the international Open Government Partnership.

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