The Blog

Close Enough For …

9:12 AM, Aug 6, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Thanks to the marvels of the digital epoch, citizens can now track the government’s spending of public money.  On a website, of all things.  Of course, while the technology may change and improve, the eternals still apply.  So one is not especially astonished to learn, as Gregory Korte of USA Today reports, that:

A government website intended to make federal spending more transparent was missing at least $619 billion from 302 federal programs, a government audit has found.

Well, employing the passive voice favored by government, mistakes will be made.  As, for instance:

The Department of Health and Human Services failed to report nearly $544 billion, mostly in direct assistance programs like Medicare. The department admitted that it should have reported aggregate numbers of spending on those programs.

HHS would be the outfit charged with handling your health care.  So try to stay well.

At least until the government gets its nimble fingers around this thing.  And:

... the administration is already working to improve the data following the passage of the DATA Act last year. "OMB is committed to federal spending transparency and working with agencies to improve the completeness and accuracy of data submissions,”[OMB spokesman Jamal Brown] said in a statement. The administration is also transferring responsibility for the website from the General Services Administration to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service in the Department of the Treasury.

The news of which is reassuring to us all.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 20 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers