Coalition Forms to Demand Accountability in Economic Recovery

by Craig Jennings, 2/4/2009

OMB Watch has joined more than 30 other groups from across the political spectrum in a new coalition demanding stronger transparency requirements in any stimulus efforts conducted by the government. The Coalition for an Accountable Recovery was formed to promote accountability policies for both government agencies and companies that contract with or benefit from recovery spending.

New polling released by the coalition reveal that an overwhelming majority of voters want full and open reporting on how Recovery Act funds are spent at federal and state levels. Out of 900 adult Americans surveyed, more than three-quarters of those surveyed ranked new websites detailing for federal and state spending of stimulus funds as important to very important. The breadth of the support was also noteworthy. The idea of government websites providing the public with access to the details on stimulus spending received 70 percent or more support among Republicans, Independents, and Democrats.

This trans-partisan agreement on the need for transparency was strongly echoed in comments from Andrew Moylan, Government Affairs Manager at the National Taxpayers Union. "Whether or not we agree with the stimulus bill's priorities, officials at the federal and state levels must assure taxpayers that their hard-earned money will be used in a responsible manner," said Moylan. "The best way to do this is to make information on stimulus spending transparent and easily available to the public in a searchable online format."

The coalition is calling for requirements for online reporting that allows the public to easily search, sort, track and download data on the use of recovery funds including specifics of each state's data. The Recovery Act should require each state to report on the funds received from the federal government, including information about federal subcontracts. The information should be provided in a uniform way, compatible with the federal USASpending.gov website. New Web 2.0 methods for sharing data across websites must be applied to the Recovery.gov website, state websites, and USASpending.gov.

Read the coalition's press release on the polling data here. back to Blog