Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Recovery.gov

In a video on President Obama’s Web site Recovery.gov (http://www.recovery.gov/) the president promises that “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be carried out with full transparency and accountability.” This new Web site will be the centerpiece of that effort. President Obama describes how we can track the Recovery Act's progress. He promises to disclose full details in a “timely, targeted and transparent manner.” Once the money starts to flow we will be able to see how that money is spent. Here is an overall breakdown of the budget:

According to the timeline, Federal Agencies will begin reporting their use of the funds beginning today, March 3, 2009. By May 3rd, Federal Agencies will make their performance plans publicly available and will report allocations for entitlement programs.

The site encourages citizens to tell their stories about how the investments are working. They also want to know what is not working. As soon as the money begins to flow into the veins of the economic machine, we will be able to communicate our perceptions of how well it is really working. Obama has told us that he will try new things and get rid of ideas that are not working so this is our chance to really get involved in our democracy directly.

During his run for president, Obama used the web and technology to reach out to his constituents and raise an unprecedented about of funding for his campaign. This use of technology in his administrations has put information directly in the hands of the people and at an incredible pace. This kind of transparency is only possible because of the Internet.

There is an interactive map under the “Impact,” “Jobs” tab that allows you look at your own state to see how much money will be used to create new jobs. In the “FAQ” section they answer commonly asked questions with links to the actual “Recovery Act” documents.

Take a look at the site. Let us know how you believe this Web site will affect nonprofits like yours. Has the recovery program had adverse or positive effects on your organization? Let us know.

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