Don’t expect to find any information about where stimulus dollars are being spent on www.recovery.gov because the website is under construction.
Members of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, charged with operating the site, have not yet chosen the web developers who will create an online platform to allow the public to track projects paid for by the $787 billion stimulus bill.
The Obama Administration quickly created the site after the bill passed although it does not yet contain any of the information promised. Obama said the website would publish “information about how the funding secured in this legislation will be spent in a timely, targeted and transparent manner,” but those details are not available.
The site currently features a timeline that outlines future benchmarks for receiving information from various government agencies about their plans for the money. The first one of those deadlines is May 3rd, when agencies are scheduled to make performance and entitlement plans publicly available.
“It’s a multistep project,” said Nancy DiPaulo a member of what some have nicknamed the “RAT board,” playing on its acronym and function.
When the site is operational the Office of Budget and Management will be tasked with collecting spending data from government agencies. Then, the data will be handed over to the RAT board for posting on the website in an easy-to-follow manner.
The RAT board was allocated $84 million in the stimulus bill to conduct oversight duties over the next two and a half years. Roughly $14 million of that will be used to fund operating expenses such as staff and rent. The rest could be used for web development
DiPaulo said there was no clear budget or plans in place because “At this point, it’s still being worked out.”
Some lawmakers have expressed frustration with the board’s pace in making stimulus spending information available but DiPaulo emphasized how massive their task is and the value of well-thought out planning.
“We have every intention of making this a new level of transparency to the government was well as taking this opportunity for oversight that we have never had before,” she said.