June 25, 2009

"A mixed review …"

That's the verdict on Recovery.gov from the Coalition for an Accountable Recovery. The Office of Management and Budget was supposed to use Recovery.gov to to report where all the funds from the stimulus bill went.

From the release:

“While we applaud the guidance for advancing transparency in a number of key respects, we remain deeply concerned about the fact that data from many recipients of Recovery Act funds will not be collected or disclosed,” said OMB Watch director and CAR co-chair Gary Bass. “If the Recovery
Act is to fulfill President Obama’s promise about taxpayers being able to go online and see how every dime is spent, then we need sub-recipients’ and sub-sub recipients’ data online, too. This not only includes how the money was spent but also who benefited.” (Emphasis mine)

In addition, the Sunlight Foundation notes that, unfortunately, the raw data sets of Recovery.gov do not have to be made public.

If it is to have any hope of being useful, Recovery.gov needs to change direction -- quickly.