Obama announces site to track economic stimulus funds
President Barack Obama has announced that he will launch a Web site to publicly track how funds to implement the economic stimulus package are spent after it becomes law. The president said in his weekly radio address Jan. 24 that the online site at www.recovery.gov would let the public know where his administration was spending funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The economic recovery plan is expected to be hugely expensive, with the current price tag at about $825 billion as it winds its way through Congress. The House plans to vote on the economic stimulus plan this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, and Senate committees have scheduled consideration of the plan. Obama said Recovery.gov would help to make his administration accountable for the plan's results and reduce the skepticism many have about the plan’s size and scale.
“Instead of politicians doling out money behind a veil of secrecy, decisions about where we invest will be made public, and informed by independent experts whenever possible,” Obama said. “We will launch an unprecedented effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government,” and Recovery.gov would support that effort, he added. An oversight board would routinely update Recovery.gov, according to information on the Web site.
On Obama's first full day as president, he signed a memo that instructed all members of his administration to foster openness, public participation and collaboration. That includes agencies using technology to put information about their operations and decisions online, the memo said.
Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.