Transparency: Clear as Mud

From Slashdot:

Bob the Super Hamste writes…

“CNN is reporting that the page recovery.gov is not as transparent as it claims to be. The examples pointed out are: 1. The user is greeted by a large pie chart that show the breakdown of money spent by 2 categories, state government distributions and local government distributions. 2. Finding projects involves a complicated search, information on projects is not actually hosted on recovery.gov 3. The format of the information available is of poor quality (the article specifically mentions a PDF document that was created from a scanned sideways copy of roadwork projects from New York state). Given that this site was meant to make the spending of the new stimulus money more transparent to the citizens of the Unites States of America it seems oddly opaque. CNN does seem to praise the ability for government agencies to be able to exchange HTML based information between systems, which for government I would call a massive accomplishment. I tried to find information for my state and searched for Minnesota. I got 4 matches, 2 of which were generic ones: one was the Minnesota state certification that is required for a state to receive funds and one that lays out public transportation spending for all states of which Minnesota gets $94,093,115.”

I suppose we should thank God for small wonders. The fact that government managed to put anything on the web at all is a modern day miracle.

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