/PRNewswire/ --WashingtonWatch.com users have brought permanent change to earmarking practices in Washington, D.C.
Federal Computer Week reports that beginning next year the White House's Office of Management and Budget will begin collecting and reporting earmark requests, as the WashingtonWatch.com site has been doing this summer.
"With our example, we've shown that earmark requests should be on the public record and in useful formats," said Jim Harper, Webmaster of WashingtonWatch.com. "The public wants to see what their members of Congress and senators are doing."
The Office of Management and Budget deserves praise for recognizing and responding to public interest in this issue. Americans want access to earmark data -- including earmark requests -- at a high level of detail.
The real credit, though, goes to the WashingtonWatch.com earmark hunters around the country who continue to enter earmarks into the database.
Through an earmark hunting contest, WashingtonWatch.com is working to collect and map the earmark requests of every member of Congress and senator. The current focus is on House and Senate appropriators.
The project was partially funded by the Sunlight Foundation, and the contest continues until all earmarks are collected or the beginning of the fiscal year, whichever comes first.
WashingtonWatch.com uses government predictions about the costs or savings from proposed laws to calculate the significance to average Americans -- in dollars and cents -- of proposed changes to the nation's policies. More information about these calculations is available on the "about" page of the Web site.
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