I’m Earl Devaney, Chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the independent Board set up by Congress to monitor Recovery spending. On behalf of myself and my fellow Board Members, I’d like to welcome you to the newest version of Recovery.gov. We’ve redesigned the site with you in mind to provide you with an inside look at how your government is spending the $787 billion authorized under the 2009 Recovery Act. After all, it’s your money!
First, here’s how this phenomenal amount of money actually breaks down. According to the Office of Management and Budget, tax benefits comprise approximately $288 billion; another $224 billion represents entitlement money, such as Medicaid or student loans; and about $275 billion is being spent on contracts, grants and loans.
So, here’s how we’ll show you how that money is being spent. Since tax and entitlement monies go primarily to individual Americans, we will periodically update you on the aggregate amounts of dollars being spent in these areas. But with respect to competitive contracts, grants and loans, we will provide you with a series of highly interactive maps, charts and graphs giving you the ability to watch money flow from federal agencies right down into your own neighborhoods. That’s right-just type in your zip code to learn what projects are nearest to you.
To help you navigate our new website, we have produced a number of guides or tutorials to get you started. It’s really pretty easy. Simply click on one of these tutorials to learn how to best use the new mapping tools or to learn all about the data being collected on our website. Speaking of data, here’s how that works. We collect a certain amount of spending data from each contract, grant or loan recipient who receives Recovery money. They report to us quarterly starting on Oct. 1. By Oct.15, we will post all data associated with federal contract recipients. After the states and other grant and loan recipients double check their submissions for accuracy, we will post their spending data on Oct. 30. This process will be repeated each calendar quarter until all $787 billion of Recovery money has been spent.
I believe that this historic level of transparency will help drive accountability in many new ways. While this Board and countless other federal, state and local oversight agencies will be looking for fraud and waste, every American citizen who clicks on this website has the potential to become what I’m calling a Citizen IG. That’s right – we need you to help us identify fraud, waste or mismanagement in your community. You will be our first line of defense against those who would abuse this money. On every page of this website we have placed, for your convenience, a red bar you can simply click on to report fraud or waste directly to us.
And don’t forget to check on the right hand side of the Homepage for the section marked “Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board” to learn about the Board, its mission, and other activities being conducted to protect your money.
Finally, check back periodically to the Chairman’s corner on Recovery.gov. I’ll be using it to talk to you on a regular basis. So, come visit us and see what’s new at Recovery.gov. I’m confident you’re going to like it!