Friday, January 19

Online Database to Foster Transparency, Accountability in Federal Spending

There's no better disinfectant for the crimes of the well-connected than the bright sunshine of disclosure.

The secrecy-plagued White House and its "Do Nothing" 109th Congress just couldn't get around to making up their minds if they wanted more transparency in how they doled out tax dollars to those footing the bill. So OMB Watch filled the bill for America.

Founded in 1983, the OMB Watch exists, according to its website "to increase government transparency and accountability; to ensure sound, equitable regulatory and budgetary processes and policies; and to protect and promote active citizen participation in our democracy."

FedSpending.org, the group's latest public transparency and accoutabilty project, offers those with a curious nature an online database to track government spending from 2000 through most of 2005. According to the kind folks at OMB Watch, "We hope you will explore this site. But mostly we hope you will use the data to hold our elected leaders and government agencies accountable for their actions."

Those on Capitol Hill eschewing any light shone on their activities--Dick Cheney and those of that ilk--won't appreciate having Americans afforded a resource--and a free one, at that--enabling them see who is receiving how many of our tax dollars.

I did a quick tour of the site and came up with some intriguing figures. For example:

Top 20 Recipients of Federal Contract Awards from the Dept. of Defense for FY 2005

Table sorted by dollars: re-sort using column headers
FY 2005 RankParent Company NameDollars% of total for agency
1LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP$19,699,896,9787.22%
2BOEING CO.$18,124,179,2926.64%
3NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP.$13,492,944,6394.94%
4GENERAL DYNAMICS CORP.$10,434,759,5043.82%
5RAYTHEON CO.$9,160,834,8493.36%
6HALLIBURTON CO.$5,806,099,4092.13%
7UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP.$4,902,797,8331.80%
8L-3 COMMUNICATIONS HOLDINGS$4,180,288,4381.53%
9COMPUTER SCIENCES CORP.$2,798,892,2311.03%
10CARLYLE GROUP$2,669,682,3730.98%
11SCIENCE APPLICATIONS INTL CORP$2,624,760,8060.96%
12BAE SYSTEMS$2,604,831,5230.95%
13ITT INDUSTRIES$2,504,129,8660.92%
14GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY$2,409,513,9200.88%
15HUMANA, INC.$2,219,715,2770.81%
16OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SERVICES$1,924,311,9860.71%
17TRIWEST HEALTHCARE ALLIANCE CO$1,803,606,3150.66%
18TEXTRON, INC.$1,757,695,8010.64%
19URS CORP.$1,601,930,6480.59%
20BP P.L.C.$1,522,701,9880.56%
--Total for top 20$112,243,573,67641.13%
--All others for agency (includes 81,467 other contractors)$160,642,201,06958.87%
--Total$272,885,774,745100%

Rather than search by federal agency, you could see how the states rank on federal contracts.

Federal Contract Awards by Contractor State

Table shows amounts in billions of dollars, and is sorted by FY 2005 dollars.
Switch to percentages or re-sort using column headers

Contractor StateFY 2000FY 2001FY 2002FY 2003FY 2004FY 2005FY 2000-2005FY 2005 Rank
Virginia$25.5$32.0$32.8$38.1$43.5$61.7$233.51
California$29.4$30.5$41.7$46.3$45.8$55.1$248.92
Texas$19.1$16.0$20.6$31.1$33.4$27.0$147.23
Maryland$13.7$12.3$17.0$17.7$20.6$21.9$103.24
Florida$7.2$6.5$8.2$9.3$9.8$13.1$54.05
Pennsylvania$8.6$9.1$10.0$10.9$11.1$11.4$61.16
Massachusetts$6.3$7.1$7.0$8.9$9.9$10.9$50.27
New York$6.7$5.7$7.8$6.7$8.9$9.6$45.48
Connecticut$3.0$6.1$6.7$8.5$9.5$9.2$43.09
Arizona$4.4$4.9$7.1$7.6$8.5$8.6$41.110
Missouri$6.3$6.7$7.3$7.9$8.0$8.1$44.311
Ohio$4.4$5.1$5.2$5.7$6.3$8.0$34.712
New Jersey$4.1$4.7$5.4$5.3$6.0$7.6$33.013
Tennessee$4.5$3.8$4.0$5.3$5.6$7.2$30.414
Georgia$4.2$6.5$6.4$3.7$4.2$6.9$31.815
New Mexico$5.5$6.9$7.1$7.3$5.7$6.4$39.016
Illinois$3.8$4.3$4.7$4.6$5.5$6.4$29.217
Washington$3.3$3.7$4.0$4.5$4.7$6.1$26.318
Colorado$4.2$4.4$4.1$5.1$5.5$6.0$29.319
Michigan$2.5$3.5$3.3$3.6$4.2$5.7$22.720
Indiana$1.8$2.1$1.9$2.2$3.6$5.4$16.921
Alabama$3.1$3.1$4.1$4.3$7.3$5.4$27.422
District of Columbia$5.5$5.8$6.1$5.8$7.5$4.5$35.023
Kentucky$1.1$1.2$2.3$3.6$2.7$4.2$15.224
Mississippi$2.0$1.7$2.6$2.7$2.4$3.9$15.325
Minnesota$2.5$2.3$2.4$2.5$2.3$3.8$15.826
Alaska$0.8$1.0$1.5$2.3$2.6$3.6$11.827
Wisconsin$1.2$1.7$1.7$1.8$2.6$3.5$12.628
North Carolina$1.9$2.3$2.3$2.3$2.7$3.4$14.929
Louisiana$2.5$2.5$1.8$2.1$2.6$3.4$14.830
South Carolina$0.9$1.0$1.0$1.3$1.5$2.4$8.231
Oklahoma$1.4$1.4$1.6$2.0$2.4$2.2$11.032
Utah$1.1$1.2$2.0$2.2$2.5$2.1$11.033
Idaho$1.3$1.3$1.4$1.5$1.7$1.9$9.134
Kansas$1.6$1.8$2.0$1.8$2.0$1.7$10.935
Maine$0.8$0.5$1.1$1.0$1.4$1.5$6.336
Iowa$0.9$0.7$0.9$1.9$1.4$1.4$7.337
Nevada$0.8$1.1$1.5$1.7$1.8$1.4$8.238
New Hampshire$0.4$0.5$0.6$0.6$0.9$1.3$4.439
Oregon$0.7$0.8$0.9$1.0$1.1$1.1$5.540
Hawaii$0.8$1.1$1.2$1.2$1.1$1.1$6.541
Vermont$0.2$0.3$0.4$0.5$0.5$0.6$2.642
Arkansas$0.3$0.5$0.8$0.5$0.5$0.6$3.343
West Virginia$0.2$0.2$0.3$0.3$0.4$0.6$2.044
Nebraska$0.4$0.3$0.4$0.4$0.4$0.5$2.445
Montana$0.3$0.4$0.3$0.4$0.4$0.5$2.346
Rhode Island$0.3$0.2$0.3$0.4$0.4$0.5$2.147
South Dakota$0.3$0.2$0.3$0.3$0.3$0.4$1.748
North Dakota$0.2$0.2$0.2$0.3$0.3$0.4$1.549
Puerto Rico$0.2$0.2$0.2$0.1$0.2$0.3$1.250
Delaware$0.1$0.1$0.2$0.2$0.2$0.3$1.151
Guam$0.1$0.1$0.2$0.2$0.2$0.2$1.052
Wyoming$0.1$0.1$0.2$0.1$0.1$0.1$0.753
American Samoa$0.0$0.0$0.1$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.254
Virgin Islands of the U.S.$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.155
Northern Mariana Islands$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.056
Federated States of Micronesia$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.057
Marshall Islands$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.058
U.S. Minor Outlying Islands$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.059
Palau$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$0.0$-0.0$0.060
Invalid or blank$6.1$5.9$7.3$7.5$15.8$20.7$63.2--
Total$208.8$223.7$262.6$294.8$330.3$381.9$1,702.2--

How do federal legislators compare in getting money for constituents? Below are the top 50 for 2004-2005.

Federal Contract Awards by Place of Performance Congressional District

Table shows amounts in billions of dollars, and is sorted by FY 2005 dollars.
Switch to percentages or re-sort using column headers

Some data is unassignable by district. Click here to see it.

Place of performance Congressional districtFY 2004FY 2005FY 2004-2005FY 2005 Rank
District of Columbia non-voting (Eleanor Holmes Norton)$14.9$12.4$27.21
Alabama 5 (Robert E. (Bud) Cramer Jr.)$4.8$5.1$9.92
Virginia 10 (Frank R. Wolf)$5.9$4.0$10.03
Maryland 8 (Chris Van Hollen)$4.0$3.9$7.94
Virginia 8 (James P. Moran)$6.4$3.6$10.15
Texas 22 (Tom DeLay)$1.3$3.4$4.66
Washington 4 (Doc Hastings)$2.5$2.8$5.37
Maryland 5 (Steny H. Hoyer)$2.7$2.7$5.48
Mississippi 4 (Gene Taylor)$1.2$2.6$3.89
Connecticut 2 (Rob Simmons)$3.4$2.6$6.010
New Mexico 1 (Heather Wilson)$2.7$2.5$5.111
Alaska At Large (Don Young)$1.6$2.3$4.012
New Mexico 3 (Tom Udall)$2.0$2.3$4.313
California 36 (Jane Harman)$3.1$1.9$5.114
Utah 1 (Rob Bishop)$1.5$1.7$3.215
Massachusetts 6 (John F. Tierney)$2.3$1.6$3.916
Maine 1 (Thomas H. Allen)$1.3$1.5$2.917
Maryland 1 (Wayne T. Gilchrest)$1.3$1.5$2.818
Maryland 4 (Albert Russell Wynn)$1.6$1.5$3.219
Wisconsin 6 (Thomas E. Petri)$1.1$1.5$2.620
Indiana 2 (Chris Chocola)$1.2$1.5$2.621
California 29 (Adam B. Schiff)$2.3$1.4$3.822
Florida 15 (Dave Weldon)$1.3$1.3$2.623
Iowa 2 (James A. Leach)$1.0$1.2$2.224
Idaho 2 (Michael K. Simpson)$1.0$1.2$2.225
Kansas 4 (Todd Tiahrt)$0.9$1.1$2.026
California 14 (Anna G. Eshoo)$4.1$1.1$5.227
Tennessee 3 (Zach Wamp)$1.0$1.1$2.128
South Carolina 6 (James E. Clyburn)$0.5$1.1$1.529
Virginia 11 (Thomas M. Davis)$2.5$1.0$3.530
New Jersey 12 (Rush D. Holt)$1.0$1.0$2.031
Florida 1 (Jeff Miller)$0.8$1.0$1.832
Kansas 2 (Jim Ryun)$0.7$1.0$1.733
Colorado 5 (Joel Hefley)$1.0$1.0$2.034
Illinois 7 (Danny K. Davis)$1.1$1.0$2.135
Maryland 6 (Roscoe G. Bartlett)$0.7$0.8$1.536
Missouri 5 (Emanuel Cleaver)$1.0$0.8$1.837
Maryland 2 (C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger)$0.9$0.8$1.738
Maryland 7 (Elijah E. Cummings)$1.2$0.7$1.939
Louisiana 2 (William J. Jefferson)$0.4$0.7$1.240
Texas 13 (Mac Thornberry)$1.3$0.7$2.041
Virginia 1 (Jo Ann Davis)$0.8$0.7$1.542
Arizona 8 (Jim Kolbe)$0.7$0.7$1.443
Indiana 3 (Mark E. Souder)$0.7$0.7$1.344
Washington 2 (Rick Larsen)$0.4$0.7$1.145
California 30 (Henry A. Waxman)$0.7$0.7$1.446
Illinois 13 (Judy Biggert)$0.7$0.7$1.347
Tennessee 6 (Bart Gordon)$0.5$0.6$1.248
Virginia 4 (J. Randy Forbes)$0.5$0.6$1.149
Pennsylvania 14 (Michael F. Doyle)$1.1$0.6$1.750

In conducting searches, you are limited only by imagination.

On the "Advanced Search by Agency" page, the category of contract competition listed as "not competed" caught my eye. So I again entered the agency providing the wealthiest their most welfare--the Department of Defense--and opted for "10. Weapons" under the Product or Service Category for a list of contractors.

My, my....Among the discoveries is that the Caryle Group, the #10 contractor in my first query that just happens to be the former employer of both George Bushes, ranks among 2005 leaders in no-bid contracts: $90.5 million dollars.

NADA, GOVERNMENT OFCANADIAN COMMERCIAL CORPORATIO; CANADIAN COMMERCIAL CORPORATION; canadian commerical corp; Government of Canada; ENVIRONMENT CANADA; INSTITUTE OF OCEAN SCIENCES; DEFENCE R&D CANADA-ATLANTIC; INSTI$1,918,618
CAPCO INCCAPCO INC$2,176,021
CARDWELL CONDENSER CORPVIKING TECHNOLOGIES, LTD$24,169
CARLSON COMPANIES, INC.THE HILTON ALEXANDRIA MARKCENT; AUGUSTA RIVERFRONT LIMITED PAR; RADISSON HOTELS INTERNATIONAL (0000); RADISSON RIVERWALK HOTEL; RADISSON HOTEL CORPORATION (3333); RADISSON HOTEL MIAMI; RAHN BAHIA MAR $22,919
CARLYLE GROUPUNITED DEFENSE, L P; SOUTHWEST MARINE INC; BAE SYSTEMS NORFOLK SHIP REPAI; B A E SYSTEMS LAND & ARMAMENTS; BAE SYSTEMS SAN DIEGO SHIP REP; NORFOLK SHIPBUILDING & DRYDOCK; BAE SYSTEMS LAND &$90,478,925
CASPIAN ARMS LTDCASPIAN ARMS LTD$4,406
CDW CORPORATIONCDW GOVERNMENT INC; CDW-G; CDWG; CDW-GOV; MICRO WAREHOUSE INC; CDW COMPUTER CENTERS INCORPORATED; CDW CONSULTANTS, INC; CDW CORPORATION; CDW G GOVERNMENT; CITIBANK USA; CDW GOVERNMENT INC (CDWG); MICR$0

I wonder if having two presidents on board would have had anything with the company obtaining those millions without having to bother going through the plebian competition process?

You can convey your appreciation for their efforts in providing his great service here.



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