The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 is being held up in the U.S. Senate by an unnamed Senator.
The legislation would require the creation of a super website to track federal spending.
From conservative PorkBusters (check out their whodunnit map) to progressive OMB Watch, there is a left-right huggy thing going on across the blogosphere in support of this legislation. It is interesting to note that so far, Google News is picking up obscure media sites and coverage of S.2590 hasn’t appeared on major media sites. It will.
Because this is neither a right-wing or left-wing campaign, this is a defining moment that will display the power of “e-citizens” versus old school politicians wanting to bring home the bacon with limited exposure. Trent Lott, Dan Rather, those power of blogging stories had political allies on the inside. While most elected officials in Congress probably expressed support for this legislation, perhaps many did so understanding it would likely die a procedural death.
As I stated at the International Symposium on E-Participation and Local Democracy (my second audio clip), the most democratizing aspects of the Internet and governance must be mandated. They must become the rule of law to exist beyond 5 percent of “open” governments. Online transparency covering every dollar (non-national security) of government spending will some day be online right down to the penny.
P.S. The other day my local newspaper wrote an article questioning the costs to government to provide office spending and other records of elected officials running for higher public office. First I thought, how odd, the media questioning the right to access government records? Then I thought, why isn’t this kind of legally public information simply online for anyone to access themselves? That is story they should explore.