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May 11th, 2009
08:01 AM ET

Where's My Money?

With many states struggling to close massive budget deficits, much of the stimulus money that has been allocated is still waiting to be spent, because of the complex and drawn-out approval process. http://money.cnn.com/2009/05/07/news/economy/state_budget_gaps/index.htm.
However, some companies and state governments are attempting to simplify this process and improve transparency:
Microsoft recently announced a program called Stimulus360. The new software will be integrated with Microsoft Office Excel and Outlook and use Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration software. It's designed to simplify the process by centralizing information, providing links for legislative and regulatory information as well as data, and mapping features to track stimulus-funded projects.
Arkansas has released a free iPhone application called "Arkansas.gov Recovery Project Search" that allows citizens to track the progress of stimulus funds in their state from their iPhone or iPod Touch. Users can search for projects by location or keywords and bookmark certain ones to keep tabs on the progress made.
Another company, Onvia, runs a Web site, http://www.Recovery.org , which aims to provide businesses with better access to pending stimulus projects. The site allows businesses and individuals to search by state, county or city and see what projects are being funded by stimulus dollars. It also features maps, data and graphs for each state.
And of course there is the federal government's own Web site, http://www.Recovery.gov, which is impressive, but contains an overwhelming amount of information. One resource that helps break it down is a map with links to each state's own stimulus Web sites http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/state-recovery-page. Do you have any ideas on how the government, private sector, or you, the taxpayer could better track the task of distributing the stimulus money while ensuring it is done quickly yet appropriately? Leave us a comment - let us know what you think!

By Matt Gannon
Video Journalist


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. David

    Why should I believe any of this has anything to do with me? Just more snarky meaness.

    May 11, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  2. V. Starkey

    Our money is going into the pockets of the rich who not only keep getting richer but want even more. This issue about gasoline prices is a prime example. Back in the 70's during the so called gas shortage, I had information from a police officer who worked in New York. He told me of the huge amount of oil tankers waiting offshore to unload but they were not allowed too. Now here we have these bio fuels that were supposed to help lower gas prices but instead in other ways, they are "responsible" for prices being raised. What happened to the times when farmers couldnt sell their corn and was dumping it by the tons in streets? Another government subsidy issue like what happened with wheat? Last year or so, prices were raised on gas because of "scheduled maintenance on a pipeline". Since when do we have to pay for scheduled maintenance? It seems to me that that money should have already been appropriated for it. Now anytime a certain person sneezes or stubs their toe, it becomes a excuse to raise gas prices. The oil companies have declared at times they werent making a profit, yet, a couple of months later they are posting huge profits. Now I have to ask,,,who is telling the lie? Is it the oil companies? , or is it the new agency reporting this information? Just what is going on?

    May 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  3. David

    So with the transparency everyone who's unemployed can spend all their time working for free for the US govt tracking stimulus money? That's great. Where is the responsibility? That's a good question. Probably as long as the personal component is avoided this country can just put all the info in the internet and not worry about having to actually do or care about anything.

    May 11, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  4. Elizabeth

    I never hear reports on the news about what people are going through who attempt to deal with their banks for mortgage assistance. The banks receive the money and pay foreign workers to answer the phones. The workers are rude, difficult to understand and say with very little exceptions, "We can not do anything for you." I watched my sister go through this and several friends who were pre-qualified with the bank's on-line service and HUD. If you have ever dealt with overseas workers you know how difficult they are to understand and how little they understand us. Discussing your personal financial hardships is difficult enough. The little amount of stimulus money the banks are using is going to foreign workers. One of the banks mortage brokers advised my sister she could refinance because he could claim her house was worth $100,000 more then it actually is and she could state her income. That was an American employee of one of our largest banks. That is how we got in this mess to being with.

    May 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm |

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