Stimulus funding recipients register for transparency site

150,000 to 200,000 recipients expected to register in time to meet Oct. 10 deadline

State agencies, contractors, nonprofit organizations and other recipients of funding under the economic stimulus law are starting to put government transparency efforts into action. They began registering with a new Web site, FederalReporting.gov, Aug. 17 to prepare to deliver detailed reports on their stimulus spending.

About 150,000 to 200,000 recipients are expected to register in time to meet the Oct. 10 deadline for filing the first reports, according to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which is overseeing the reporting efforts.

Although the process is proceeding smoothly thus far, some agencies could face challenges as they seek to follow the reporting rules, said Sherry Amos, industry principal at SAP America, which supplies software that can help agencies meet those reporting requirements.

“People initially thought, ‘Well, we can do this on spreadsheets,’” Amos said. That strategy might work for a short time in some cases, but over the longer term, agencies might need to upgrade their capabilities to accommodate data changes, ensure that their data can be audited and meet other reporting needs, she said. “The spreadsheets will not be able to handle it over time,” she added.

The government created FederalReporting.gov to collect and channel information about how agencies spend the $787 billion in stimulus money. The site links to Recovery.gov, which posts spending information for the public.

The reporting requirement applies to recipients that get at least $25,000 in stimulus funding. They must provide details on the amount of money they have received and spent, the project scope and timetable, and the number of jobs created.

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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