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Sunlight Wins 13 Years Of Federal Contract Data

On Monday, the Sunlight Foundation filed its first ever FOIA lawsuit and sued the General Services Administration for not responding to our FOIA request for six months. But good news; on Wednesday we received the documents.

Sunlight is making available more than a decade's worth of federal solicitation and award notices from FBO.gov on our website.

Unfortunately, the GSA refused to disclose the contact information for contracting officers from the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, citing FOIA exemption 5 U.S.C S 552(b)(6), an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

This is a FOIA victory for Sunlight and for spending transparency, as Sunlight federal policy manager Ginger McCall notes:

Despite the partial denial, these notices will allow the public and Sunlight's developers to do a close analysis of government contracting patterns.

They include information about who is granting contracts, to whom contracts are being granted, what is being contracted for, and how much those contracts are worth.

This will allow us to look for connections and patterns that could implicate government waste or corruption.

It will also allow us to analyze the accuracy of information that the government is reporting elsewhere, including on USASpending.gov.

Visit the Sunlight blog to download the solicitation and award files from 2000 to 2013.

Please note that the notices are broken out in two parts. One file has records with the unique id for each notice, and almost all of the related data fields. The other file with the "_desc" suffix has the unique id for each notice and a longer prose field that includes the description of the notice.

Additionally, the numbers at the end of the file name indicate the year range. So, "fbo_data_archive_00_04.csv" is for the years 2000-2004. The file "fbo_data_active.csv" contains all the active solicitations in FBO.gov right now.

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UPDATE 12/19: FOIA Santa Comes Early To Sunlight!

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Previously:
* Dennis Hastert's Highway To Heaven.

* Open Government On The Line: Tell Your Governor.

* Save The Data!

* Federal Spending Reporting System Still Broken; $1.3 Trillion In Misreported Funds.

* Sunlight Files Government Spending FOIA Lawsuit.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on November 22, 2013


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