“Democracy in Action” as New Websites and Accountability Standards Facilitate Transparency
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has triggered a remarkable surge of activity in all 50 states that goes far beyond the necessity of qualifying ready-to-go projects pursuing funding. At least 38 states have created new websites to help manage the project selection, disbursement, and oversight process, and new sites are going up almost daily. These brand new websites reflect President Obama’s commitment—and certainly mine as well—to keep the American public fully informed about what’s happening. That means spelling out investment levels, openly inviting project proposals, and explaining how the funds will be tracked and monitored.
Let me share a few examples:
Governor Ritter has created an Economic Recovery and Accountability Board to provide oversight of ARRA funds—with the information to be posted online.
Governor Baldacci has issued an executive order to ensure accountability, transparency, and legislative oversight of federal funds.
Legislation is moving through the state Senate to create a commission—including private citizens—on ARRA oversight.
The list goes on from there.
I am greatly encouraged by how swiftly states are moving into position, so that they can deliver these funds where they are needed most—and put people to work as quickly as possible.
This is truly a great example of democracy in action. And as I’ve said repeatedly, the DOT will do its part to ensure that every dollar of ARRA is spent wisely, responsibly, and with full transparency.