Tag Archives: Government Executive

Tracking the federal dollar through a federalist system

Recovery.gov is the Obama Administration’s effort to provide reporting details on how federal stimulus dollars are being used.

Not only is this a big task,  given the nature of bureaucracy and information, it’s an impossibility.  Unsurprisingly, a private sector company has taken the lead with Recovery.org.

As Government Executive reports

“The goals and intent [of the administration] are absolutely right,” Balsam said. “But, they’ve got no experience and no reach into local communities and states. There’s no basis for them to go figure out where everything is, because there is no reporting relationship in place. It’s an intractable problem for the administration.”

Onvia is a company that tracks procurement spending. They  saw the stimulus as an opportunity, if not an obligation, to follow the unprecedented infusion of federal dollars. The geographic detail is impressive.

I was surprised to find my (unincorporated)  hometown.  I expected to have my search end at the municipal level.

This stimulus bill may be a kind of ‘tipping point’ for transparency. What the goverment cannot provide quickly or meaningfully, it can also no longer hide  as easily.