The Denver Post reports:
The goal was to build a reporting system that allows the public to follow the zigzagging paths of dollars awarded under the $787 billion federal stimulus package. A financial GPS of sorts. But despite federal lawmakers’ pledge of transparency, the final stages of most money trails, along with key information about job impacts, will remain invisible to users of the Recovery.org website when it debuts next month.
Only details of a stimulus grant’s passage through its first two stops after it leaves the federal government must be reported, according to guidance memos from the White House Office of Management and Budget. That means billions of dollars will be untrackable and thousands of recipients will be left unidentified through the database, officials acknowledge.
“That isn’t transparent, and that’s the primary concern,” said Craig Jennings, senior policy analyst for OMB Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank examining stimulus spending.
“You basically lose track of billions of dollars, and in many cases there will be a whole lot of interesting connections at the sub, sub levels of funding missed,” he said. “These are levels that need oversight to prevent waste, fraud and abuse.”
Officials with the Office of Management and Budget did not respond to requests for an interview.
Who could have possibly predicted this?