States launch stimulus-tracking sites

 In less than two months, all 50 states have created Web sites that track their use of their share of the federal economic stimulus package, and that link to the federal Recovery.gov site.

However, the state sites are individual efforts and offer a patchwork of data. Some are more effective than others in providing transparency, a government watchdog analyst said.

“It’s very uneven. Some states are very light on details,” said Craig Jennings, a federal fiscal policy analyst at OMB Watch. “Having a Web site is a small part. Making it useful to the public is really what we are after for transparency and accountability.”

President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Feb. 17. Ten days later, 10 states had already linked their Web sites to the fledgling Recovery.gov site, as the law requires.

By March 30, all the states except South Carolina, North Dakota and South Dakota had added their recovery Web site links to the federal portal. By April 15, all 50 states were online and linked to the federal site.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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