AFP Invites Citizen-Watchdogs to Get Their Growl On

December 17, 2013

Taxpayers Become Whistleblowers with Help of New Website

Parker, Colorado — Ferreting-out wasteful government spending isn’t just for expects anymore, thanks to a new project, launched this week by Americans for Prosperity, that puts the power to track federal government expenditures and contracts at the fingertips of average citizens.

With its easy-to-use search functions and drop down menus, SpendingSpotlight allows activists to search federal expenditures by zip code, state, or name of recipient. Even federal employee salaries are included in the database. It empowers taxpayers to become whistleblowers by generating tips on potential wasteful federal expenditures in their own backyard. AFP then helps share confirmed tips with the public and press, shining a much-needed spotlight into the darker corners of the massive federal spending machine.

“There’s just no way, given something as big and bloated as the federal government, that a relatively small number of reporters and good government groups can possibly keep track of where all the money is going,” says  AFP-Colorado State Director, Dustin Zvonek. “That’s why we’re inviting average taxpayers to get directly involved. Every alert citizen now can help hold government accountable through the use of this amazing tool. And participating will remind Americans that there’s plenty more belt-tightening to be done before we can ever claim to have an efficient, well-managed government.”

Here’s how the process works.

It begins with the citizen waste-watcher using SpendingSpotlight to identify expenditures they suspect of being wasteful, improper or questionable. They then submit a brief online report to AFP’s policy shop, which further investigates the expenditure in question. If the tip pans-out, after a more in-depth vetting, AFP uses its resources and media contacts to help publicize the case, giving due credit the concerned taxpayer doing the initial digging.

“Just imagine the additional transparency and accountability we’ll see when hundreds or even thousands of citizen-investigators are shining brighter lights into the federal government’s dark corners,” said AFP’s Dustin Zvonek. “We look forward to working with our citizen-watchdogs to highlight places where the federal government can reduce wasteful spending.”

For further information or an interview, please contact Dustin Zvonek at DZvonek@afphq.org or 720.219.1451. For assistance with the use of SpendingSpotlight, please contact Sean Paige at spaige@afphq.org.

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