Obama Announces Recovery.gov

In first YouTube address (seen below), Obama announced Recovery.gov, a new government website that will catalog how the $825 billion economic stimulus package is spent.

OpenCongress notes:

Recovery.gov – will soon be transformed into a database for information. This part of Congress’s effort to bring “a historic level of transparency, oversight and accountability” to the stimulus so that “taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and Americans can see results for their investment,” as stated in the draft summary.

You can download the entire bill here and see a nice pie chart of how the money is currently allocated here.

A few details caught my attention when glancing over the bill. For example:

(6) The website shall provide a means for the public to give feedback on the performance of contracts awarded for purposes of carrying out this Act.

This could be a crucial feature, especially among watchdogs, who’s analysis will be on government servers when history looks back at this time and judges how the money was managed.


(3) The website shall provide data on relevant economic, financial, grant, and contract information in user-friendly visual presentations to enhance public awareness of the use funds made available in this Act.

I wonder how these “user-friendly visual presentations” will take shape. They could range some simple charts to sophisticated filtering visualizations, as New York Times often does. Given people’s concern about the amount of money being spent, I wonder how seriously they will take the presentation of this data to the public.