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Recovery Board is model for governmentwide oversight efforts
Friday - 4/20/2012, 12:36pm EDT
But, the board chairwoman said, the RAT Board is not "resting on our laurels."
Kathleen Tighe (photo from RAT Board website)
The RAT Board was created to oversee Recovery Act spending. It set up the website Recovery.gov to track the funds, self-reported by recipients, and launched a pilot with FederalAccountability.gov to track Recovery Act spending with Medicare and Medicaid provider enrollment data, veterans' disability payments and small business HUBZone certifications.
Tighe said the board has received funds to do "some modest testing and development of systems" to track funds outside of the Recovery Act.
More generally, the RAT Board is using the data it collects to measure how expenditures correlate with a program's progress, as well as "how agencies have done their jobs according to what they said they would originally," Tighe said.
Last year, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, introduced legislation to create a "permanent successor" to the RAT Board, according to Issa's website. The RAT Board sunsets at the end of September 2013.
The new board would be called the Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Board — or FAST Board.
"Americans have the right to know what their government is doing with their money. Incompatible technologies, inaccurate data, and a lack of common standards impede transparency," said Issa in a statement in June when he introduced the bill.
Tighe said the RAT Board has developed technology to collect and display information and to use data analytics that could be scaled for all federal spending.
"If we can do that, maybe it would be beneficial, cost-effective and a good idea to make us permanent," she said.