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Navigate Up - Track the Money is the U.S. government's official website that provides easy access to data
related to Recovery Act spending and allows for the reporting of potential fraud, waste, and abuse.

 Fact Sheet

Overview was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with two specific missions: to provide unprecedented transparency about how Recovery funds are being used, and to increase accountability to guard against fraud, waste, and abuse.

  • Allows American taxpayers to see who received Recovery money, how the money is being spent, where it is being spent and how many jobs are being created by the projects
  • Provides easy-to-understand, user-friendly graphs, charts and maps
  • Displays information on Recovery funding that states have received and offers highly detailed maps that plot Recovery projects
  • Allows you to track the money that has gone to your county, Congressional district, and zip code
  • Provides information on federal contracts, grants and loans; links to job information sites; and links to state Recovery sites
  • Gives American citizens the tools needed to report potential fraud, waste, and abuse of Recovery funds

In preparation for an influx of new recipient data from the reporting process that began in October 2009, the site has been redesigned. New functions have been added to allow the American public to easily view where and how their money is being spent. 

The Act

Three Main Goals:

On Feb. 13, 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Four days later, the President signed the legislation into law. The Recovery Act’s main goals are to:

  • Create and save jobs
  • Spur economic activity and invest in long-term economic growth
  • Foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending

The $787 billion economic Recovery plan included provisions for immediate federal tax cuts and incentives, an expansion of unemployment benefits and other social entitlement programs. In addition, 28 federal agencies received Recovery funds to finance contracts, grants, and loans around the country.

Longer Term Goals:

The Recovery Act’s longer-term economic investment goals include: 

  • Initiating a process to computerize health records to reduce medical errors and save on health-care costs
  • Investing in the domestic renewable energy industry
  • Weatherizing 75 percent of federal buildings and more than one million homes
  • Increasing college affordability for seven million students by funding a shortfall in Pell Grants, raising the maximum grant level by $500, and providing a higher education tax cut to nearly four million students
  • Cutting taxes for 129 million working households by providing an $800 “Making Work Pay” tax credit
  • Expanding the Child Tax Credit

The Recovery Act was intended to provide a short-term jumpstart to the economy, but many of the projects funded by Recovery money, especially infrastructure improvements, are expected to benefit economic growth for many years.  

View the full Act.


Federal agencies receiving Recovery funds have met the dates designated for reporting the distribution and implementation of those funds. In September 2009, the Council of Economic Advisers began quarterly reporting on the economic impact of the Recovery Act, and in October 2009 recipients of Recovery funds began reporting on their use of Recovery funds including the amount of money received, the money spent, the scope of the project and the number of jobs created.

Recovery Board Function and Powers

The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to ensure accountability and transparency in the expenditure of Recovery funds and minimize fraud, waste and mismanagement.
Among the actions taken by the Board to carry out these responsibilities are:

  • Operation of the website that gives American citizens an unprecedented ability to see where their tax dollars are being spent.
  • Establishment of a system to collect and post data from Recovery fund recipients, including information on how much money has been received and spent, the scope of the projects that Recovery funds are being used for, and the number of jobs created by Recovery spending.
  • Activation of a Fraud Hotline and fraud reporting process to facilitate the reporting of fraud, waste, or mismanagement by private citizens or individuals involved in Recovery fund projects.
  • Creation of a Recovery contract compliance checklist to help guard against fraud and abuse at the front end of the procurement process.
  • Implementation of a proactive contract review process to identify issues from administrative errors to more serious problems that may need more detailed examination by federal Inspectors General or law enforcement agencies.

To carry out its oversight role, the Recovery Board has been granted specific powers and functions under the Recovery Act. The Board can:

  • Audit and review Recovery spending either on its own or in collaboration with federal Inspectors General.
  • Issue subpoenas to carry out its audit and review responsibilities.
  • Refer instances of fraud, waste, and mismanagement to federal Inspectors General.
  • Hold public hearings and compel testimony through subpoenas.
  • Enter into the contracts for audits, studies, analyses, and other services with public agencies and private entities.
  • Review whether there are sufficient and qualified acquisition and grant personnel overseeing Recovery Act funds.
  • Submit quarterly and annual reports to the President and Congress as well as "flash reports" on potential problems that require immediate attention.
  • Make recommendations to federal agencies on measures to prevent fraud, waste, and mismanagement of Recovery Act funds.

The Board

Bios and photos of all of the Board members are available on the Board Members page.