Data: the Key to a More Transparent, Open Government

Jun 17, 2016

The work of the federal government is incredibly diverse, and affects almost every aspect of American life, whether it is keeping planes in the air or ensuring that our food is safe. Every public service the government provides requires many different skill sets, but the one thing that unites them all is a consistent requirement for transparency.

Security concept: blue opened padlock on digital background

Transparency enables the federal government to demonstrate to the American people how their tax dollars are being used. At the same time, the information we produce is an invaluable public resource that can transform lives and make a difference in communities across the country. That is why information is now more accessible than ever before.

The Office of Asset and Transportation Management, within GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy, is working to assemble data from every federal agency in areas such as mail management, real property, personal property, travel, aviation, and motor vehicle fleet. This includes data related to donations of federal property to state governments, total federal aircraft flight hours, and data submitted to the Federal Automotive Statistical Tool. All of this data is produced in five data sets, and presented in a way that is both easily accessible and understandable.

These reports reveal a great deal about the work of the federal government, from the cost to operate and maintain the 273,000 buildings to what it takes to run the 640,304 vehicles and 1,208 aircraft owned by the federal government. It also gives an interesting look into which non-federal organizations received more than $4 billion in surplus personal property.

Understanding how the federal government is using the resources at their disposal is vital to an efficient, transparent public service. The Office of Asset and Transportation Management’s data collection activities plays a key role in supporting that effort.

This information is a window into how the federal government is serving the American people every day. By putting this data together, the Office of Asset and Transportation Management is giving agencies an opportunity to not only review their own operations, but also compare their work to that of their federal counterparts. It is a valuable opportunity for public servants across the country to find more efficient and effective ways to serve the American people.

If you are interested in learning more about the work of America’s public servants, you can find more details from the Office of Asset and Transportation Management’s work at the following links:

Federal Fleet Data

Personal Property Data

Federal Real :Property Data

Federal Aviation

Federal Mail Expenditures

This post was originally published on the GSA blog by George Deryckere, Chief of Staff, Office of Asset and Transportation Management.