Tracking federal stimulus spending can get to be a full-time job in itself, so I always like it when officials make government data easy and accessible to use.
Take the latest maps from the federal recovery.gov site:
Looks pretty nice, right? It is, until you start drilling down into some of the data. Unfortunately, bureaucrat-ese is still alive and well. Here’s the description that popped up when I selected a stimulus project underway in Kingfisher:
Recipient Name :URS GROUP, INC.
Project Description :COTTONWOOD 15 DECOMMISSIONING DESIGN – THIS TASK ORDER IS ISSUED UNDER AN EXISTING IDIQ (COMPETITIVE). THE ORIGINAL IDIQ DID NOT OBLIGATED FUNDS AND WAS NOT ENTERED INTO FPDS BY THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTING OFFICER.
Available Funds :$138,905
Project Location : KINGFISHER, OK
I have to admit, I have no idea what any of that means, other than who got the contract and for how much.
It took two more clicks to finally get a clue about what that project entailed. Apparently, the money is going to a Denver-based firm for some type of soil conservation engineering project in Kingfisher.
This is all fairly normal, at least according to the stimulus site explanation:
The orange dots indicate the location of a project funded under the Recovery Act. Click on a dot and see the company that received Recovery money, the project, the amount of money allocated for the project, and its location. In most cases, the company and the project are in the same state, but they may not be in the same city. There are instances when a company based in one state has a project in another state. For example, a company with headquarters in the South may have a project in the Midwest or Northeast. As data is submitted, we’ll update the map.
Meanwhile, over at Oklahoma’s official recovery site, here’s the latest table of disbursements, from early June. (Click to see larger version):
In fact, much of the Oklahoma-specific data remains trapped in PDF files here, with very little in the way of organization. And according to the site, the last meeting the coordinating council had about the stimulus was back in March. Maybe our auditor, the governor and others should take a look at what’s going on at other state stimulus sites, like Maryland.
Written by Paul Monies