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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Recovery Board testing accountability tools in the cloud

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.-- The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board had so much success moving Recovery.gov to the cloud, it is looking there again to give agencies a new set of accountability tools.

Shawn Kingsberry, the board's chief information officer and assistant director for technology, said about four agencies are testing a new suite of data-analysis software to ensure Recovery Act funds are not being subject to waste, fraud or abuse.

The Recovery Board is working with several agencies to test out these accountability tools in the cloud. The tools include data- analysis software that can detect data anomalies on contracts, grants and loans issued with stimulus funding.  Agencies submit award or proposed award data to the board. The board then uses these tools to find potential issues with the vendor and passes that information back to the awarding agency. The agency can then decide what steps to take next.

Kingsberry said agencies can and should take a pause to make sure the funds are not falling victim to waste, fraud or abuse.

The Recovery Board's experience with putting software in the cloud has been successful. It first moved its site to the public cloud in April 2010.

Kingsberry said the board saved $750,000 by using Amazon Web Services and moved that money into mission needs to detect waste, fraud and abuse.

With the audit tools, the board will follow a similar path — starting small in the board's own data center to create the baseline and then moving it to the cloud, Kingsberry said.

-Jason Miller, FederalNewsRadio.com

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