Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Delayed Gratification

The Next.gov website about e-government is already reporting that "Stimulus Data to be Delayed" despite administration promises to guarantee transparency and disclosure in the most rapid possible timeframe. Anxieties about producing "financial figures" that are "free of typos, such as extra zeros or transposed numbers" have prompted government officials from releasing results about spending managed by the TARP program. At the end of the month, government officials are promising a revamped Recovery.gov, so the issue is sure to be revisited soon. At the Government 2.0 summit, Vivek Kundra apparently also admitted that USASpending.gov may also face roadblocks in bringing user-friendly databases to the masses. Apparently there are many problems, from reliance to older programming languages like COBOL to unreadable PDF files. While the public combs the fine print of current Congressional legislation looking for evidence of death panels, it is unfortunate that the same collective intelligence is not being brought to bear on this significant stumbling block for a smooth-running virtual state.



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