Starting today, federal agencies must disclose how they’re spending their share of the near $800 billion stimulus package. Ronni Radbill explains how the use of online reports could help improve government transparency.
Steve Chiotakis: We’re just a few weeks into the president’s near $800 billion stimulus package. And starting today, federal agencies must disclose how they’re spending their share of the money. The Office of Management and Budget wants weekly online reports. From Washington, Ronni Radbill reports.
Ronni Radbill: Visitors will find the weekly spending plans on Recovery.gov. In their initial reports, agencies must state how much Congress gave them, how they’ll spend the money, and any action they’ve already taken. More detailed plans are required in May.
Rob Nabors is deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. He says OMB is assigning 470 staffers to this effort.
Rob Nabors: That weekly report will become the basis by which OMB, the White House and Congress conduct our oversight responsibilities with regard to the agencies.
Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog, calls the online updates an unprecedented experiment.
Jamie Court: This is I think the first time government is held accountable in any accessible way for the public.
He adds the online transparency could give taxpayers more confidence in how stimulus money is being spent, and so boost their willingness to spend their own.
In Washington, I’m Ronni Radbill for Marketplace.