GOOD

Recovery.gov Starts to Spill the Beans: The $1.4 Million Door

This is what happens when you don't do a good job managing your transparency: Recovery.gov, the website that was supposed to make sure that all the average citizens in the country could track the billions of dollars in stimulus funding, has started releasing data to the public. The only problem is that the forms are not very readable, or shall we say, transparent. They are filled with strange codes and odd phrasing and, most importantly, don't do a very good job actually explaining what the money was used for, which makes it look like a lot of money is being wasted.


The other explanation, of course, is that a lot of money is being wasted. So, while Matt Drudge might be getting a little too upset (see image above), it's really pretty hard to give anyone benefit of the doubt for a door repair that cost $1.4 million. And now the government is going to have to waste times with a lot of (absolutely necessary) explanations, when they could have just made it clearer in the first place, if, in fact, there is a good reason why the door repair cost so much.Here are all the suspicious orders that Drudge linked to:$2.5 million worth of ham$1.1 million worth of sliced ham$.3 million for repairing a dumbwaiter$1.5 million for mozzarella cheese$5.7 million for process cheese$16 million for canned porkThe food makes more sense. Ham, cheese, pork: These things can go in school lunches and military meals, and will help the economy by providing work for food vendors. But the form should explain where that $16 million of canned pork is going. And even with an explanation the door repair would stand out. It must be a really nice door.
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