Recovery Blog

Recovery.gov iPhone/iPad Application

Posted in Recovery.gov by Recovery.gov on March 30, 2011

The Recovery Board’s  iPhone and iPad applications are now available for free download in the Apple store. 

 The apps  give you access details about Recovery funded contract, grant, and loan awards – across the country and in your own neighborhood.   From the apps, you can send us feedback on the project and report suspected fraud, waste, and abuse related to projects.

 To leave us feedback about the app itself, leave a comment here, post  to our Facebook page, or tweet us @RecoveryDotGov.

Completed Recovery Projects

Posted in Recovery Projects/Awards, Recovery.gov by Recovery.gov on March 16, 2011

More than 55,000 Recovery-funded projects have been completed since the Recovery Act was signed into law in February 2009, and details about each can be found on a new map in Recovery.gov’s Map Gallery. The projects – funded individually by contracts, grants, or loans – total approximately $25.4 billion. In addition to identifying recipients, the map also shows where the projects are in relation to the total amount of Recovery funds that have been awarded to each state and territory to date. You can see completed awards by state, congressional district, country, or zip code.  You can also choose to see awards right down to the street level or in an aerial view.

COMPLETED PROJECTS
Contracts 21,294 $6.2B
Grants 33,307 $18.9B
Loans 312 $212M
Total 55,543 $25.4B

Recovery.gov Earns Awards

Posted in Recovery.gov by Recovery.gov on January 24, 2011

Webby Awards LogoIn little more than its first year, Recovery.gov 2.0 – launched in September 2009 – was honored and recognized in 2010 by some of most prestigious website awards, including the Webby Awards–an international competition–which have been described as “the Internet’s highest honor.” The National Association of Government Communicators, which dispenses the Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards, is a national not-for-profit professional network of federal, state and local government employees who disseminate information within and outside government. And the Addy Awards have been called “the world’s largest advertising competition with over 50,000 entries annually.”
The complete list of awards won by Recovery.gov:

  • Official Honoree – 2010 Webby
  • 2010 Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Silver Award – Second Place
  • 2010 Gold Addy
  • 2010 Communicator – Award of Distinction, Interactive
  • 2010 Web Marketing Association Awards – Outstanding Website
  • Ranked in Top Five Government Websites by Congress.org

Have you seen a Recovery project near you? Take a picture!

Posted in Recovery Projects/Awards, Recovery.gov by Recovery.gov on January 5, 2011

Recovery.gov has Flickr group dedicated to documenting what Recovery projects look like across the country. And we are asking you to help take the pictures! If you see a Recovery project near you we would like you to take a picture and add it to our collection.

There are now two ways you can add photos to our Flickr group. If you already have a Flickr account you can upload them to our group here. Just remember to include a brief description and tell us where you took the picture. Or you can send your photo (as a .jpeg) with a short description to newmedia@ratb.gov and we will add it for you.

States and agencies are encouraged to submit their photos as well. We have already received great submissions from Washington State Department of Transportation, the Northern Region Forest Service, the Department of Energy, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to name a few.

And while you’re here… take a few moments and browse almost 200 Recovery project photos that we have collected so far, and let us know what you think.

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Project Flickr

Posted in Recovery Projects/Awards, Recovery.gov by Recovery.gov on December 15, 2010

Photo: Wayne National Forest Solar Panel ConstructionThe official Recovery.gov Flickr site was launched to capture a national snapshot of those Recovery projects, from road construction and weatherization projects to health extension centers. We’d like your  input.  Take pictures of the projects in your neighborhood and upload them to our Flickr page.  Your image will appear on our Images of Recovery page.Photo: Argonne National Laboratory

If you take the picture with your cell phone and it has GPS, your photo will appear on our geocoded Flickr map.  Add an image from your state to the mix.  Without you the big picture won’t be complete.

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Recovery.gov Terms & Acronyms

Posted in Recovery.gov by Recovery.gov on November 29, 2010

Spend time on Recovery.gov, and before long you will come across terms like “Section 1512,” “OIG,” “OMB,” and “508.” Who and what do these refer to? The following is a quick primer on some of the terms you’re most likely to encounter:

Section 1512 - The section of the Recovery Act that lists the reporting requirements for Recovery award recipients when they report quarterly.

OIG – Office of Inspector General. A variation is “IG,” referring to the Inspector General. Inspectors General are independent watchdogs within the federal agency to which they are assigned. Their main task is to prevent fraud, waste, or abuse of agency funds or property. Check back on the blog to read bios of each of the IGs who sit on the Recovery Board.

OMB – Office of Management and Budget. The White House agency responsible for overseeing the preparation of the President’s annual budget proposal. OMB also ensures that the federal agencies’ activities and plans adhere to the President’s policies. In relation to the Recovery Act, OMB issues guidance to the agencies on how to implement Recovery programs.

508 – Refers to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act that requires federal agencies to make their electronic and information technologies accessible to people with disabilities. For the details on Recovery.gov’s 508 guidelines, see Accessibility.

Local Amount – The total amount of Recovery funds located in a state, zip code, county, or congressional district. The local amount consists of the following:

  1. The amount of Recovery funds in a location received by prime recipients (all the prime recipients in Utah) PLUS
  2. The amount of Recovery funds received by prime recipients’ sub-recipients in the same location (primes in Utah with sub-recipients also in Utah) PLUS
  3. The amount of Recovery funds in the location received by sub-recipients with primes outside the location (sub-recipient is in Utah, but the prime is in New Mexico) LESS
  4. The amount of Recovery funds received by the prime recipients’ sub-recipients outside the location (primes in Utah have sub-recipients in Wyoming; the Wyoming sub-recipients’ awards are counted in Wyoming’s total Local Amount).

CEA – Council of Economic Advisers. A small group of experts advising the President on economic policy. The CEA is responsible for analyzing and assessing the economic impact of the Recovery Act.

FOIA – Freedom of Information Act. Part of federal law that allows, upon formal request, disclosure of previously unreleased information controlled by the government. Some information is exempt from a FOIA request. For more information on Recovery.gov’s FOIA policy, see FOIA.

Are there terms we haven’t covered that you’d like to know about? Let us know.


Recovery at a glance – inside the Map Gallery

Posted in Recovery.gov by Recovery.gov on November 3, 2010

The Map Gallery provides access to all 15 maps on Recovery.gov that display Recipient-reported data, including 12 new maps. These maps make it easy for you to see local data as well as data displayed at a national level.

Non-compliers Map

Non-compliers Map

Brand new to the Map Gallery are a trio of maps depicting Recovery awards not started, in progress and completed.  You can also see maps that compare job training awards versus state and county unemployment rates;  awards for education in relation to the local population under 18; and COPS programs versus population density.

And, now you can find out which states had the most recipients who did not report on their awards – recipients that are considered non-compliant under the Recovery Act – by checking out the Non-Compliers map.

Lights-on Map

Lights-on Map

Featured in our Map Gallery is the Lights-On map, designed and created by Edward Tufte, the renowned data visualization expert and a member of the Recovery Board Advisory Panel.  This map gradually lights up to display the distribution of Recovery awards from February, 2009 to September 30, 2010.

Let us know what other maps you’d like to see, we welcome the feedback and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Recovery.gov Users: Find What You’re Looking For!

Posted in Recovery.gov by Recovery.gov on November 1, 2010

Recovery.gov has many visitors and you’re not all looking for the same thing.  You will notice the “Looking For” button, a brand new feature at the top of our homepage which is intended to help you find what you are looking for quickly and easily.

Here is a brief overview of what you’ll find inside our audience segmentation – the “Looking For” menu – feature:

Interested Citizen IconIf You Are an Interested Citizen
Here you can find information about projects in your area, see picture of Recovery projects, and learn more about the Recovery Act. Agency press releases about recovery projects, press releases issued by the Board, and links to our social media sites are also found here.

Data User IconIf You Are a Data User
Here you can download recipient data and find new widgets that you can post on your own website. Detailed information about recipients and agency reported data is also here. If you know just what you are looking for, you can use the advanced search feature.

Member of the Press IconIf You Are a Member of the Press
Information about the Recovery Board, details about recipient reported data and the Media Kit are grouped here for easy access. Other press resources like the download center, fact sheet, and backgrounder are also at your fingertips.

Recipient IconIf You Are a Recipient
Here you can review the reporting schedule for the current reporting cycle, see the latest enhancements to FederalReporting.gov and easily find data using the advanced search or download center. User guides, and information about the Service/Help Desk are also available here.

Recovery.gov – Improving the User Experience

Posted in Recovery.gov by Recovery.gov on October 27, 2010

Welcome to the blog sponsored by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the independent agency created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 

The Board’s staff is planning on:

  • Providing you with a behind-the-scenes look at the work of the Board, including what happens when you submit a fraud allegation
  • Answering your questions about Recovery, and
  • Clearing up some misconceptions about Recovery – for instance, that the Recovery Act and TARP are one in the same. 

But, most importantly, the blog is a forum for your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about our performance, both here and at Recovery.gov.

Today, in response to comments, suggestions, and feedback, we’ve added a number of new features and functionalities to Recovery.gov:

New Features On the Home Page

Screenshot of the carousel feature on Recovery.gov

Recovery.gov homepage carousel

Featured Story Carousel
Scroll left or right and click on any picture to get the facts about a Recovery project or program .

Social Media Feeds
Interact with others who are talking about Recovery, government, and similar topics on Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. See pictures posted on the Recovery Flickr account and read the latest Blog post.

Chairman’s Corner
Watch the Chairman’s new video on all the new features.

    Screenshot of the new Looking for menu on Recovery.gov

    User-focused navigation for easier access to information

Looking For?  User-Centered Navigation

Click the Looking For? tab for a dropdown menu designed with particular users in mind, such as “An Interested Citizen” or “A Data User.”  There are icons representing what you might be looking for on the site – projects in your neighborhood, opportunities, or the Recovery Act.  Click on any icon to go to the section specifically designed for you.

Map Gallery

Access all the maps on the site from one page.  Explore new maps like the “Lights On” Map – Created and designed by Edward Tufte, this map lights up to display the progression of the distribution of awards from February 17, 2009 to June 30, 2010.  You can also find maps that show where Recovery money went to fund Education and the COPS program.

Job Search

Search for jobs that recipients of Recovery funds might offer.
Search for jobs through the Indeed.com job board.
Search your state website for jobs, and employment information, closer to home.

Developer Center

State Data Summary Widget
Use this widget to see recipient data in your state only — by county, congressional district, or zip code — and have it automatically updated every quarter.

Advanced Search Widget
You can configure in-depth searches and add the XML data to your own site.

Recovery Map API
Take the recipient data from Recovery.gov and mash it up against other datasets.

3rd Party Widgets/Apps
Create your own maps with ESRI’s templates and find Recovery projects using a mobile app.

Visit Recovery.gov and let us know what you think about these new features.

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