July 15, 2011 at 1:51 pm #135631
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Has anyone heard about Recovery.gov's new feature which allows users to create and customize charts and graphs related to better track stimulus funds?
According to Recovery Board Chairman Earl E. Devaney, Recovery Explorer, launched a month ago, allows users to build their own charts and graphs for spending and jobs at the federal, state and local levels.
Recovery Explorer allows users to chart data submitted by recipients of Recovery funds in ways that are most applicable to the them.
There are 15 categories that can be displayed including “Funds Awarded,” “Funds Received,” “Number of Jobs,’’ “Number of Awards,” “Fiscal Quarter and Year,’’ and “Awarding Agency.’’
The new feature is expected to be produced as a free iPhone and iPad app to make the process mobile! The new feature is the latest enhancement made available by the Board so that users can get easier access to information on contracts, grants and loans awarded under the $787 billion Recovery program. Learn more at Recovery.gov.
What are your thoughts about Recovery Explorer and what it will do for government?
July 15, 2011 at 5:19 pm #135633
I think being able to display information visually helps a lot of people understand things better and even more so when you can control the "settings." However, this is and never was my concern with this type of "transparency," but rather what level of accuracy the information I'm playing with actually has. Now, before anyone blacks out with rage and asks "why would the government make information available that isn't accurate," just know that it has been reported multiple times that the largest problem with recovery.gov is there is nearly no data accuracy due to the lack of the ability to validate information provided by the states. The site simply displace information that is submitted by the localities/states/etc that have received funds and if there were mistakes during the entering of the information, there has been little follow up to correct information unless the localities/states/etc have done so when they update.
So, like most things, the tool is only as good as the data entered into it. As I am sure, the system has been better over time and at a least provides a great "rough idea" of just what is happening with recovery funds, it is still not an end all solution. This is where I feel the dangers of "transparency" lies, depending on who you ask you will get different answers as to whether people understand and/or believe how accurate the information actually is.
Love the tool, question the data, always question the data! Better data, better transparency!
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