How's that stimulus transparency working out?
...not too good
From the "who didn't see this coming" department, we find out that the administration that promised us great leaps for governmental transparency...to say nothing of the extra steps they promised to take in order to sell enough members of Congress to pass the stimulus boondoggle...has failed to deliver.
Via the Denver Post:
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.”
That last sentence pretty much explains "why" it won't be completely transparent.
As everyone with half a brain, or any experience whatsoever watching how big government works over the years could figure out, anytime you're talking about programs or legislation that involve this kind of money, it's going to be absolutely rife with "fraud and abuse". And given the level of outrage over the "stimulus" to begin with, hence the need to keep it away from prying eyes.