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Treasury’s USASpending.gov Revamp Might Be Bumpy, Official Says

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The Treasury's online federal spending tracker might still have some kinks by May 2017, by which time the department is expected to unveil a final version. 

During a keynote speech at AFCEA Bethesda on Thursday, Christina Ho, Treasury's deputy assistant secretary for accounting policy and financial transparency, said she didn't know "exactly what the outcome will be" for the USASpending.gov revamp. A beta version of the site, which launched early last month, still faces challenges, she said. Treasury is still collecting public feedback and reviews.

"We will get there even if we don’t do all the things that we thought we [could] do by May 2017," she said. "I can guarantee you where we will be in May 2017 is going to be a lot better than what we have been able to do.”

The Data Accountability and Transparency Act, passed last year, requires Treasury as well as the Office of Management and Budget to make agencies' spending data more accessible to the public. 

During her keynote, Ho described the department's efforts using open source methods -- including code repository site GitHub -- to share its progress with the public.

She also trumpeted what she called a "data-centric approach" -- the idea that federal information should be "portable, so that the data does not have to be tied to a system in order to be interpreted."

Ho likened this approach to the way consumers' phone numbers are no longer tied to the location of physical landlines, but can instead be transferred between locations and service providers. 

(Image via /Shutterstock.com)

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