A Conference to Develop a Long Range Vision for Federal Spending Transparency

Strengthening Federal Spending Transparency: A Working Conference to Develop a Plan of Action

May 20, 2010
9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Washington, D.C.

Hosted by Center for American Progress, Economic Policy Institute, Good Jobs First, OMB Watch, OpenTheGovernment.org, Progressive States Network, Project on Government Oversight, Sunlight Foundation, and Taxpayers for Common Sense



Idea Papers

All Papers (Single PDF)

The Budget Life Cylce


Reporting & Transparency

About the Event

WHAT: A Conference to Develop a Long Range Vision for Federal Spending Transparency
WHEN: Thursday, May 20, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
WHERE: Economic Policy Institute, 1333 H St NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, D.C.

Now that the Obama administration has announced its intent to develop a long range vision for federal spending transparency, we are excited to announce that, on Thursday, May 20, in Washington, DC several organizations will host an all-day conference to begin a process of creating such a vision.

The conference will convene experts on federal budget and spending, government transparency, performance measurement, technology, as well as those affected by federal spending, to share ideas and solutions for how to comprehensively tackle the issues related to maximizing federal spending transparency. The conference will be structured around three interrelated topics:

1. Budgeting/Financial Accounting

  • Mapping the full lifecycle of federal spending, from the agency's budget request to congressional appropriation to disbursement by federal agencies
  • Defining a "unite of analysis." What should be tracked throughout the process: a program/project/activity, an appropriations line item, a Treasury account?

2. Reporting and Disclosure

  • Putting federal spending online: Websites, data feeds, and more
  • What type of spending should be disclosed? Contracts, grants, loans, tax expenditures? And how should the federal government collect and report this information?
  • What are the technological and policy hurdles to indentifying entities within the federal spending process?
  • How can data quality be improved?

3. Performance Accounting

  • Linking program performance and evaluation to budgeting
  • Measuring and reporting contractor performance. What are the technological and policy impediments to bringing contractor performance data to all federal contracting officers and the public?
  • Developing a set of social equity metrics. What is the best way to identify the needs of the nation?
  • Are there government-wide indicators that should be reported on?

OMB's Deputy Director for Management, the government's Chief Performance Officer, Jeffrey Zients will address the conference and kick off this daylong event. In fact, OMB personnel, and other government officials, will participate throughout the day as this is part of a broader collaborative effort being led by OMB.

Please also note that this is a working conference. Participants will be asked to come prepared to actively collaborate with others to create and refine components of a long range vision for federal spending transparency. For those coming, we will commission papers with specific recommendations that we will get to you ahead of the conference. We will react to these ideas during the conference with the hopes of finding commonly supported solutions or recommendations.

We will share conference results with OMB, which is expected to launch its own process to develop a vision with a specific plan for implementation.

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