10 June 2008 | Jake Kanter
US presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have called for greater public scrutiny of government spending.
This week Obama and republican senator Tom Coburn introduced new draft legislation to the senate, Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2008, to increase the amount of publicly available information on US government spending. The bill was originally sponsored by McCain and Democratic senator Tom Carper.
The legislation plans to give US citizens more details about government deals, including information about competitive bidding and copies of contracts on the website usaspending.gov to help "root out" waste and fraud.
The usaspending.gov site was launched in 2007 after president George Bush backed Obama and Coburn's original scheme, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (News, 5 October 2006).
Obama said in a statement: "While usaspending.gov has had tremendous success, this new legislation will expand the public information available on the website and improve the quality of government financial data."