It pays to see your government at work!  While you might grumble at times, the federal government does a great many things for our nation everyday.

Recently, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) launched a new website called the Federal Program Inventory.  This database puts together spending and performance data on over 2300 Federal financial assistance programs.  Believe it or not, this is the first time compiling such an inventory across the whole of the federal government has ever been done.

The Federal Program Inventory tracks Federal financial assistance from programs as large as Social Security and Medicare to the smallest of community block grant programs.  One can get an idea of the breadth of this undertaking by looking at the "programs by category."  You can see how and by whom your tax dollars are being spent as never before.

Programs can also be searched by agency, assistance types, and eligible applicants.  You be surprised by the results once you start looking.  Take for example the wholesome category of "Individual/Family" as eligible applicants, and you'll find there are 300 federal programs that had obligations of $2.62T in FY 2022 to folks like you and me.

The Office of Management and Budget is still building out the Federal Program Inventory to include all of the programs that make up the federal government.  The full program inventory is to be completed by 2025.  Besides providing for a better accounting of government spending, the availability of this data has the capacity to improve the performance and transparency of government.  Policy objectives that have led to program overlap by two or more different agencies can be better coordinated to achieve greater efficiencies, for example.

All in all, it pays to see your government at work!  All $4.47T of it.

The Federal Program Inventory is the newest addition to the UW Law Library's Database List.  Where there's more to explore!

Submitted by Eric Taylor, Evening Reference Librarian on April 17, 2024

This article appears in the categories: Law Library