For the Good of Illinois

OpenTheBooks Oversight Report – The Federal Government's Use-it-or-Lose-it Spending Spree

March 7, 2019 07:30 AM
The Federal Government's
Use-it-or-Lose-it Spending Spree
Read the full report, click here.
Sign your name to our peition urging President Trump
and Congress to wage a war on wasteful spending, click here 


1. In the final month of fiscal year 2018, the federal government spent $97 billion on 509,828 contracts. On average, each contract was worth $190,190 while the largest contract was worth $2.9 billion.
2. On average, the federal government spent $3.2 billion per day on contracts throughout the month of September. On September 27 and 28, spending exceeded $10 billion per day. As expected, there was a significant drop in spending on weekends.
3. The federal government spent money on a wide array of contracts including a Wexford Leather club chair ($9,241), china tableware ($53,004), alcohol ($308,994), golf carts ($673,471), musical equipment including pianos, tubas, and trombones ($1.7 million), lobster tail and crab ($4.6 million), iPhones and iPads ($7.7 million), and workout and recreation equipment ($9.8 million).
4. In the final week of the fiscal year, federal agencies signed nearly 10 percent of all fiscal year 2018 contracts. Throughout fiscal year 2018, agencies spent $544.1 billion on contracts.
5. Between 2015 and 2018, federal spending during the final month of the fiscal year increased by 39 percent. From 2017 to 2018, September spending increased by 16 percent.
6. In total, $25.2 billion in contracts flowed to the D.C. Beltway (Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia) – that is 26 percent of all September spending. Texas and California both received large portions of contracts, pulling down $8.9 billion and $7.1 billion, respectively.
7. In total, 6.3 percent ($6.1 billion) of funding flowed to 190 countries outside the United States. Top-receiving countries included Afghanistan ($356.3 million), India ($590.2 million), Germany ($535.6 million), Japan ($528.9 million), and Iraq ($271.4 million).
8. September contracts fell into more than 2,000 spending categories. The top 10 spending categories accounted for one third of all September spending ($32.4 billion). Top categories included fixed-wing aircrafts ($8.6 billion), professional support ($4.2 billion), and combat ships and landing vessels ($3.9 billion).
9. The top 10 contract recipients pulled in 27.5 percent ($26.7 billion) of all contracts in the final month of the fiscal year while the top five recipients pulled in 21.2 percent ($20.6 billion).
10. Overall, 66 agencies signed contracts in the final month of fiscal year 2018. The top five agencies alone paid for 85.6 percent of all September contracts. These agencies are included the Department of Defense ($61.2 billion), the Department of Health and Human Services ($5.7 billion), the Department of Veterans Affairs ($5.4 billion), the Department of Homeland Security ($4.2 billion), and the Department of State ($4.0 billion).
Read the full report, click here.





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Omar Pimentel
7/5/2019 12:51 PM

  Can I please get access to your data? I am working on similar research. I am trying to download it from your site and it has become very difficult.

Hubert Miller
Newport, OR
6/3/2019 03:12 PM

  I am interested in military history and militaria and over the years I have kept a watch for stories of military waste first-hand told. Accounts such as vehicles, electronic equipment, tools, used or often brand new, buried, burned, cut to pieces, pushed overboard. Most of the destroyed material is still military-usable or resalable, but it would take "paperwork". So why bother? It's only money, and there's always more coming in. We are a boundlessly rich country, right? You can see it in the schools, in the infrastructure.

Hawthorn Woods, IL
5/5/2019 09:28 AM

  Executive Office of the President Use It Or Lose It Summary: TRUMP Sept 2018: $26,816,164 Sept 2019: $24,982,932 2 Yr Total: $51,799,096 Average: $25,899,548/Year OBAMA: Sept 2016: $11,661,161 Sept 2015: $16,842,278 2 Yr Total: $28,503,439 Average: $14,251,719/Year That pretty much says it all. In the same 2-year period of time, Trump Office of the President spent twice as much as Obama Office of the President. It would be interesting to see how all the contracts and departments utilizing Use It Or Lose It netted out for each of the 4 Years.