Government Systems Inadequate to Show Spending Patterns, Advisory Board Says
December 19, 2011
Federal agencies need to better integrate their data collection and display systems to provide taxpayers with a fuller picture of how the government is spending $3.6 trillion a year, a high-level federal advisory board is recommending.
Existing systems are inadequate to the task, according to the Government Accountability and Transparency Board, which is an advisory board of government leaders. The board was created by President Barack Obama in June and charged with making recommendations to reduce government waste and increase accountability.
Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget, released the advisory board’s Report and Recommendations to the President in a post on the White House Blog on Dec. 14.
The board outlined at least three ways to centralize the tracking and oversight of spending using new technology tools.
For example, the board members noted that the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board overseeing the $840 billion in economic stimulus law spending has used forensic tools to help identify fraud in stimulus programs. Those tools can be used by other federal agencies as well.
Secondly, federal agencies should develop plans to integrate and streamline their data collection and display systems. Currently, there are disparate IT and financial systems collecting data. Ideally, those systems all could work together.