Mohana Ravindranath | Nextgov | April 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

Former Microsoft CEO Opts to Open Government Himself

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer. Alex Gallardo/AP

Government spending patterns might not seem like the most pressing concern for Steve Ballmer, formerly chief executive of Microsoft and current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. And yet, it’s the theme of his newest tech venture,, a searchable repository of public-sector spending data.

Ballmer on Tuesday unveiled the site, which, as of the morning, had intermittent outages, initially appearing unable to accommodate traffic. presents various analyses of government finances at the local, state and federal levels, including a breakdown of the $5.4 trillion in total public sector spending in 2014.

The site comes as federal agencies are approaching the May compliance deadline for the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, which requires them to publish their spending data online. And last month, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers reintroduced the OPEN Government Data Act, which would require agencies to share the data they collect in a machine-readable format.

» Get the best federal technology news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.'s analyses, conducted in collaboration with Wharton and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, examine both revenue and spending patterns. In 2014, the data show, about $1.2 trillion was allotted to "promoting the general welfare," including supporting the Post Office and investing in various public health efforts; that category represented about 23 percent of total spending, 34 percent of which came from the federal government.

The project purports to be nonpartisan, according to its mission statement. "We do not propose policy," the site notes. "We have assembled this report consisting of unbiased government data so the American public can draw its own conclusions."

Eventually, the USAFacts team plans to hire an accounting firm to confirm its analysis processes are "suitably designed and operate effectively."

All data presented on the site is based on that collected by the government, according to the team.

"We are limited by the timeliness, availability and consistency" of information the government provides—for instance, the Census Bureau's most recent state and local budgets are from 2014.


Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.