Interested in becoming a government watchdog? Join the USA Spending scavenger hunt! Restore Accountability is charging YOU with the task of finding the most ridiculous government waste-- all using one simple tool: USAspending.gov.
How To Get Involved
Head to USAspending.gov
Look in the top right corner of the home page and you’ll see a search bar. This search bar works exactly like Google.
Start by searching "chocolate."
Searching "chocolate" pulls up over 1,700 transactions. (wow!)
To refine the search, click “search criteria." From here you can filter by year, award type, State, Congressional District, and even specific Federal agencies.
Refine the search by changing the keyword to “chocolate fondue.” You'll see just 1 transaction. (way easier to sift through!)
Click on the award ID number (this is where we get information about the award)
Click on "contract information" (this is where the best information is)
You'll see it was a conference called the Taste of Arlington, where they had Starbucks, chutney, and chocolate fondue with an assortment of fruits and nuts. (sounds like a good time! And you paid for it!) :(
Search on your own terms! Type in anything you want into the search bar, get a little crazy, and see what you can find!
Have fun! If you have questions about anything feel free to message us on Facebook or through the website.
History of USA Spending
USAspending.gov was created by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA). The act was introduced by former Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Senators Barack Obama (D-IL), Tom Carper (D-DE), and John McCain (R-AZ).
FFATA was signed into law on September 26, 2006. The legislation required that Federal contract, grant, loan, and other financial assistance awards of more than $25,000 be displayed on a searchable, publicly accessible website, USAspending.gov, to give the American public access to information on how their tax dollars are being spent. USAspending.gov also displays certain federal contracts of more than $3,000. The initial site went live in 2007.
Federal agencies are required to report the name of the entity receiving the award, the amount of the award, the recipient’s location, the place of performance location, as well as other information.
"In our system of government the best ethics reform has always been frequent elections and the ability of citizens to hold their elected officials accountable. This legislation will give the American people valuable new tools in that effort. I'm proud to have worked with Senators McCain, Obama and Carper on this important legislation."
–Senator Tom Coburn
"We should do everything we can to ensure that the American public can easily access and track how the Federal government does its business."
–Senator Barrack Obama
When our founder, former Senator Tom Coburn and then Senator Barrack Obama teamed up to create USASpending.gov, they had no idea what skeletons would come out of the Federal Government’s closet. Thankfully, USASpending.gov has provided taxpayers a gateway into the interworking of their government.
Learn more about USAspending.gov here.
Scavenger Hunt Highlights