Tags: obama | stimulus | tracking

Obama's Stimulus Can't Be Tracked Until 2010

Thursday, 07 May 2009 01:57 PM

By Jim Meyers

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President Barack Obama has promised that Americans will be able to track "every dime" of the $787 billion stimulus package, but information about contracts won't be fully available until next spring — halfway through the stimulus program.

Recovery.gov, the Web site that lists programs being funded by the stimulus money, last week indicated that $72.2 billion was available and $15.4 had already been spent.

But the site provides no details on who received contracts and grants, USA Today reports. Agencies won't report that data until October, according to Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which manages the site.

After the initial data becomes available in October, the board will wait six to nine months for the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue new guidelines on how far down the spending chain the money must be tracked, Devaney told USA Today. So the Web site may not be completed until next spring.

The administration now requires only the first two recipients of stimulus spending to report what they receive. That means if funds go to a state and are passed on to a city, the identities of the city's contractors won't be available.

Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, the Ranking Republican on the House Science and Technology Committee's Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee, said the OMB should require reporting of all contracts and subcontracts for a more complete picture.

“If I could wave a magic wand, I would like to follow the dollars from cradle to grave,” Devaney said, adding that OMB is re-evaluating the issue and might update its guidance.

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