TAP expands, includes more federal spending

financial data Federal spending increased dramatically during the pandemic. (Depositphotos)

By Kiernan Nicholls


Data Journalism
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IRW’s Accountability Project now includes two decades of federal spending data, representing more than 165 million records. 

We expanded the collection to include all contracts and financial assistance awarded by the federal government since the 2001 fiscal year. The data also includes all sub-awards associated with each contract, purchase order, grant or loan. Users can search this data across other TAP collections. For example, a company awarded a federal contract might appear in a search alongside campaign contributions or lobbyist registrations.

This expansion of our spending database is more important than ever as the federal government disburses trillions of dollars through the nation’s largest stimulus programs. 

The federal financial assistance dataset contains Paycheck Protection Program and Emergency Injury Disaster Loans awards and modifications; we include those programs as separate datasets, so searches for recipients of those programs could appear twice.

Our data comes from the public API at USASpending.gov. We have used the API to request all available awards and modifications (both prime and sub-awards) from 2001 to 2021 across all 22 award types, including block grants, purchase orders, direct loans and insurance. These awards are divided into four datasets on The Accountability Project — prime grants, prime contracts, sub-grants and sub-contracts,but all will appear in a search from the home page. For sub-award results, use the unique identifier (FAIN or PIID) associated with the prime award to link the records.