Category Archives: Budget and Spending

Working toward Implementing the DATA Act

Federal agencies spend more than $3.7 trillion a year. But it’s not always easy to get reliable, useful, and consistent information about this spending—information that can help improve oversight, decision making, and transparency. So, Congress passed the Digital Accountability and … Continue reading

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What You Need to Know about Tax Incentives and the Federal Budget (infographic)

The federal budget consists of revenue (mostly taxes, but also things like user fees and intragovernmental revolving funds) and spending. But not all spending looks the same. Spending through tax provisions—known as tax incentives or expenditures—is not as well-known as … Continue reading

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Will “Hamilton” Win Big? Its Namesake Already Inspired a Lot of GAO Work

Alexander Hamilton has quite the legacy: he was the first Secretary of the Treasury; he created a plan for managing the national debt; and he is now the inspiration behind the Tony Award-nominated musical, Hamilton. In anticipation of this Sunday’s … Continue reading

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Auditing the Government’s Books

Congress and the President need reliable, useful, and timely financial information so they can make difficult budget choices and deal with the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges. Each year, we audit the governmentwide financial statements to help make sure good information … Continue reading

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The DATA Act Turns 2

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, known as the DATA Act, is 2 years old today. This law is supposed to make it easier to get reliable, standardized information on federal spending. Today’s WatchBlog explores what we’ve found … Continue reading

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Understanding Sequestration

The 2013 budget cuts known as “sequestration” were the first of their kind in more than two decades—and they’ll be with us for years. In fact, sequestration in some form is scheduled to continue annually through 2025, in the hopes … Continue reading

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Unused Federal Grant Dollars (infographic)

The federal government awards grants to states, nonprofits, universities, and others to help meet a variety of national goals. But not all of this grant money reaches its destination. So what happens to the hundreds of millions of unspent grant … Continue reading

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Budget Day Is Around the Corner

The 2017 President’s Budget is scheduled to be released next week. The president’s proposal is the result of work that started last spring at the White House, the Office of Management and Budget, and executive branch agencies—from Agriculture to Veterans … Continue reading

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Tracking Federal Spending with the DATA Act (infographic and podcast)

The federal government spends more than $3.5 trillion dollars a year. But how that money is spent is not always easy to track. Enter the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014. Known as the “DATA Act,” this law is … Continue reading

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Federal Grants and Other Assistance

Federal grants pay for all manner of things, including highways, health care, and education. Today’s WatchBlog follows the money trail of federal grants, discusses ways to improve grant management, and explores some ways the federal government can help states and … Continue reading

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