For those of us at the Recovery Board, October is a pivotal month. For the first time since our founding in February under the Recovery Act, we will be posting data from recipients of Recovery funds on our website, Recovery.gov. As many of you no doubt know, we built this new, state-of-the-art website so that we could provide you, the American people, with an inside look at how your money is being spent. On Oct. 15, therefore, we will be posting data from companies and other entities that received direct contracts from federal agencies. Two weeks later, on Oct. 30, we will disclose data from recipients receiving grants and loans.
We don’t expect perfection in these initial data reports. Indeed, there will be errors and omissions in some reports, and still other recipients may not even bother to submit information. Given our focus on accountability and transparency, we are urging federal agencies to work closely with recipients to correct any problems in their reports. Agencies can point out errors, omissions or other problems, but only recipients can make changes in their reports—and, then, only during a brief period. Over time, with so much public scrutiny of the data, we expect improved reporting; the number of recipients will grow and more information will be displayed on Recovery.gov.
Nevertheless, in this first reporting period, you will find a lot of data essential to your understanding of Recovery spending. You will see, firsthand, what your state and local governments are doing with Recovery money, and which contractors are benefitting from this program. Among other elements, this data will include the recipient’s name; the award type, such as a contract, grant, or loan; the date of the award; the amount of the award; and the location of the project.
But for many Americans, with unemployment hovering at nearly 10 percent, perhaps the most important data displayed on our website will be this: the number of jobs created and saved, as detailed in recipient data. In the near future, we will be developing and offering more tools to help Americans find a Recovery job opportunity.