Statement of Disbursements – United States House of Representatives.
From the Introduction:
The Statement of Disbursements (SOD) is a quarterly public report of all receipts and expenditures for U.S. House of Representatives Members, Committees, Leadership, Officers and Offices. The House has been required by law to publish the SOD since 1964.
The Chief Administrative Officer of the House publishes the SOD within 60 days of the end of each calendar year quarter (January–March, April–June, July–September and October–December).
Since 2009 the SOD has been published online to increase governmental transparency and accountability.
As a result of a new House financial system, all SODs from the fourth quarter of 2010 onward will display new transaction codes while maintaining the same data transparency as before. These codes (AP for Accounts Payable; AR for Accounts Receivable and GL for General Ledger) will replace all previously used SOD transaction codes.
Later in the Introduction it is noted:
Because of the procedural complexity inherent in balancing hundreds of Congressional budgets, the SOD document is not easy to read.
Well, that’s certainly true.
What would you need to make this a meaningful document?
Who are these salaried employees and how are they related to campaign contributors?
We pay for phones and cellphones, so where are the calling records to and from those phones?
Where are the calendars of the House members so expenses for meetings with particular lobbyists or others can be matched to the expense record?
As it is, we have a document that shows bakery expenses, cab fares, mixed in with larger and smaller expenses.
Still, I suppose it is better than nothing at all. But only just.
What other public data would you match up with these expense documents to uncover patterns of behavior?