Ensuring easy access to complex information
To deliver the highest levels of transparency into US spending, the FFATA Information Center uses the authoritative sources of federal spending data: the Federal Procurement Data System - Next Generation (FPDS-NG) for contracting data and the Federal Assistance Award Data System (FAADS) for grants data. The federal procurement data is available the next working day after the contracting agency submits the data. The grants data is refreshed quarterly as the government posts updated files. As other types of federal spending data become available, such as loan and subcontracting data, the FFATA Information Center search will make it available to the public.
The FFATA.org search allows users to search beyond the data elements technically required by FFATA. The FFATA.org search includes all 65 data elements related to contract spending collected by the Federal Procurement Data Systems-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) from 1979 through today and 33 data elements related to grants from the Federal Assistance Award Data System (FAADS). In addition to offering access to all of the data, the FFATA.org accomplishes the goal of simplifying federal spending data. The terminology used in contract and grants spending data is often a foreign language to the public. FFATA.org has made the complex database structures and relationships within these databases transparent to users.
The FFATA.org site allows for a "flat" search on all of the information within these data sources - meaning that the search term will be found in any and all fields in the FFATA.org data set. For example, the FFATA.org search does not require the user to know the exact name of a grants recipient or the exact Product and Service Code (PSC) for a contract. The FFATA.org search tool crawls the federal spending data and finds any and all occurrences of the search text entered and returns the data in the result set. When a user enters "sun" as the search criteria for a vendor name, all records with the following vendor names are part of the result set:
- Sun Microsystems Inc
- Sun Microsystems Incorporated
- The Baltimore Sun Company Incorporated
- Evergreen Sun City
- Sun City Center Associates
By enabling users to search across all of the data in all data sources, the FFATA.org site makes government spending easier to understand and delivers true transparency into government spending.