2010 and Beyond: Follow the stimulus money

Wednesday - 12/15/2010, 3:58pm EST

Earl Devaney, Chairman, Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board

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Less than two years since its launch, www.recovery.gov is leading the way for government transparency, cloud computing, and open data.

The site tracks spending of the $787 billion in economic stimulus funds as part of the Recovery Act.

Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, joined the DorobekINSIDER, said the transparency has driven more accountability.

"One doesn't work without the other," Devaney said. "The accountability is that much better because we have the transparency piece."

Devaney said more than 99 percent of fund recipients report on how they spend the money. Those who don't report get their names published, he said.

"People get embarrassed and they report," he said.

The recovery board, comprised of 12 inspector generals, is challenging the old paradigm that IGs do their investigation "after the fact." With Recovery.gov, the board is trying to "interrupt fraud before it occurs, stop it dead in its tracks," Devaney said.

The board has also tried to overcome the "gotcha" mentality that agencies may have toward IGs. If the board discovered that an agency could do something better administratively, it contacted the agency without publicizing or calling it a "bad thing," Devaney said.

"For the most part, the agencies were very receptive to that and made the changes necessary," he said.

Read Devaney's comments on Recovery.gov.

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