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Monday, October 05, 2009

Federal Stimulus-Monitoring Website Gets An Update

Since February, when the government launched a website to provide a window on the federal stimulus package, critics have been calling for a makeover. Now they have one. The site, unveiled today by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, was revamped through the use of $9.5 million in stimulus funds. It provides easier-to-use tools, such as a ZIP Code search that shows stimulus projects in specific communities. The government also has set up a toll-free hot line (1-877-FWA-DESK) for reporting fraud, waste and abuse. "This is definitely a step in the right direction," said Craig Jennings, a policy analyst at OMB Watch, a nonprofit government watchdog group. Still, the Obama administration has a ways to go to complete transparency, Jennings said. The site, Recovery.gov, does not include complete data on recipients of stimulus money, and users face significant hurdles to accessing the information that is available. --Joe Markman, The Los Angeles Times

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