Setting the bar high
Just looking at Recovery.gov, it might not be immediately clear what an enormous undertaking it will be to ensure that the transparency and accountability that the President expects will be upheld. It's going to require an unprecedented level of vigilance, a fundamental shift in the way the federal government spends your tax dollars, from the Oval Office down to every department and agency awarding funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
That's why Peter Orszag, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has sent a memo to the heads of those departments and agencies, explaining what's expected of them and offering advice for how to meet those high standards.
According to the memo, agencies will be expected to provide data which demonstrates that:
- Funds are awarded and distributed in a prompt, fair, and reasonable manner;
- The recipients and uses of all funds are transparent to the public, and the public benefits of these funds are reported clearly, accurately, and in a timely manner;
- Funds are used for authorized purposes and instances of fraud, waste, error, and abuse are mitigated;
- Projects funded under this Act avoid unnecessary delays and cost overruns; and
- Program goals are achieved, including specific program outcomes and improved results on broader economic indicators.