TOOLBOX: Follow the Money on Gulf Oil Spill Contracts

June 30, 2010

Those IRE sleuths have come up with a gem. Investigative Reporters and Editors Training Director Jaimi Dowdell brings news of a special Gulf Oil Spill Report put out by the Federal Procurement Data System.

The data, downloadable in spreadsheet form, lists all federal contracts that the General Services Administration (GSA) knows about. There may be some time lag before new contracts are available in the database.

The FPDS is not that easy to use. First, you have to register so they know who you are. Then you have to know how to use the query system and know what you are looking for. The WatchDog got results with a simple query on the key words "oil spill cleanup." A search on the NAICS Code 562910 (Remediation Services) was also productive. Many other search criteria are available.