Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, who highlighted wasteful government spending throughout his career, is joining the activist group American Transparency as its Honorary Chairman.
“Open the Books is doing the work I envisioned when the Coburn-Obama transparency bill became law,” Coburn says in a statement. “Their work is so important because so few groups – or elected officials – do it, and fewer do it well.”
Coburn’s landmark legislation, the “Google Your Government Act,” co-sponsored by then-Sen. Barack Obama, forced public disclosure of almost all federal government spending. American Transparency’s “Open The Books” project extends this idea through a searchable public database of nearly all federal and state government spending.
The database, which can be accessed through a mobile App, documents “all disclosed federal spending- contracts, loans, grants, farm subsidies, direct payments, insurance payments, salaries and bonuses since the year 2000.” It includes spending from 48 of 50 states and more than 500,000 local units of government.
“During my service I saw how small reforms, and discoveries, can generate huge savings and create greater opportunity and freedom for all Americans,” Coburn said. “I’m encouraged that Open the Books is accepting this challenge.”
The Open the Books project has documented potentially fraudulent farm subsidy payments and Small Business Administration loans.
“At OpenTheBooks.com, we are committed to carrying forward Coburn’s robust legacy,” said Adam Andrzejewski, Chair of American Transparency. “We deeply appreciate Dr. Coburn’s courage, principles and national leadership and are extremely privileged to have him as our Honorary Chairman.”