The Big Local News team is excited to introduce Audit Watch, a notification service that flags new and noteworthy audits of nonprofits, cities, colleges and other locally-run institutions.

The system closely watches the Federal Audit Clearinghouse, a government website that updates daily with fiscal examinations of federally-funded entities across the country.

When a new report is posted, Audit Watch inspects the document. If auditors have raised any red flags, the bot instantly sends an alert to participating newsrooms, ensuring they are among the first to find out about a newsworthy audit in their coverage area.

Audit Watch is now open to all members of the Big Local News Industrial Affiliates program. It’s already posting alerts about California institutions to the Slack instance of the Los Angeles Times.

Audit Watch in the Los Angeles Times Slack

The system releases all of the documents it gathers via DocumentCloud. A refined version of the clearinghouse’s key data table, open to all Big Local News users, is deposited in our data portal.

Become an affiliate today to install Audit Watch, as well as similar services, like Layoff Watch and CAL-ACCESS Watch, which provide notifications drawn from other valuable data streams.

There’s more to come for both users and affiliates, including Agenda Watch, our in-progress push to automate the collection of public meeting agendas, minutes and other documents produced by local government.

Membership fees directly support the work of Big Local News by funding data gathering, software development and student instruction. To learn more and explore becoming a member, contact the program’s administrator, Cheryl Phillips, at [email protected].

About Big Local News

From its base at Stanford University, Big Local News gathers data, builds tools and collaborates with reporters to produce journalism that makes an impact. Its website at offers a free archiving service for journalists to store and share data. Learn more by visiting our about page.