OPEN GOVERNMENT -- The federal government started it and the state followed suit. Now it
appears that San Francisco will set up a Web site to track federal stimulus money that is flowing to The City, reports Brent Begin at SFExaminer.com.
Thats the idea behind a Website under construction,
www.recoverysf.org, according to Ron Vinson, chief administrative
officer of the San Francisco Department of Technology. The site will
track all the money being sunk into San Franciscos shovel ready
projects such as the rebuilding of Doyle Drive, the seismically unsafe
southern approach to the Golden Gate Bridge.
The money is coming from the $787 billion federal stimulus bill.
Obama has urged states to be mindful and cautious in using the federal
stimulus dollars received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act. The White House put together a Website that tracks the money, www.recovery.gov, for everyone to see. California has its own Website at www.recovery.ca.gov.
And these state and local sites are needed, writes Paul West in the Baltimore Sun, because the federal tansparency soon becomes opaque as the funds trickle down.
disappears after it changes hands twice," said Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs
First, a liberal watchdog group that wants more complete disclosure.
As things stand, the federal government will disclose how much money it
gives to a state, and the state must report back on how that money is
distributed to a private company, or to a local government. Beyond that
point, there is no requirement for disclosing where the money finally
ends up, he said.
LeRoy's group is part of the Coalition for an Accountable Recovery,
which has warned that there could be "corruption on a massive scale,"
as stimulus and financial bailout funds are spent.
The "only antidote is millions of eyeballs watching the money," LeRoy
said, referring to ordinary citizens tracking the spending on
government Web sites.