Federal spending database full of inaccuracies?

Thursday - 9/22/2011, 9:22am EDT

Kaitlin Lee, senior developer, the Sunlight Foundation

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It's one thing to post federal spending online in a show of transparency. But what if all the spending reports are wrong?

Turns out, the data posted to online federal information clearinghouse USAspending.gov mostly are wrong, according to a Sunlight Foundation scorecard, part of the group's "ClearSpending" project.

The open government group said agencies misreport how they spend nearly every dollar, adding up to a $1.3 trillion distortion.

Kaitlin Lee, senior developer for the Sunlight Foundation, joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris to detail the foundation's findings.

Lee explained how the Sunlight Foundation conducted its research as well as what's behind the misreporting: simple incompetence or a deeply broken system?