Recovery.gov – The Obama Administration and its approach

February 7, 2009 in Personalities & Profiles | Comments (0)

 

“We’re going to do this with unprecedented transparency and accountability.”
That’s what President Obama said when we spoke of how the Administration must in this video (also embedded below). Of course this isn’t a new refrain, the President spoke of these things throughout his campaign.
To that end talks about the creation of a Cabinet-level position responsible for oversight of spending and ensuring money is “being spent wisely.” But he doesn’t stop there. President Obama then engages his constituents and invites everyone to keep a watchful eye.
As of my writing this, the site is not yet live because the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is burbling its way through Congress. But if the execution on-line to-date is any measure, I have no doubt it will go live, on time with a full set of functionality.
There are some who argue that perhaps this unprecedented access to monitoring government activity by its constituents may be problematic. In this blog post by Micah Sifry, co-founder of the Personal Democracy Forum, suggests that this could be problematic – for the government workers.
To that, I say this – if you’re supposed to be doing a job, and you’re doing it, you should have no reason to worry. I do understand his point that issues may arise if, say, there’s an organization (like a school) that appears to be using a government grant for something other than what it was originally intended, who gets to decide that the change still fits under the terms for which the grant was given? Certainly there needs to be a process for considering feedback through any public forum, but I feel pretty safe in saying that the Obama Administration gets that. They did, after all, run the most digitally connected campaign in our country’s history and did pretty well with managing their information.
If nothing else I have to say that I’m amazed at my own continued engagement with now President Obama. It was one thing to watch the videos and YouTube clips during the campaign, but I find myself drawn to the weekly video address and actually clicking on the links in the emails I receive.
Besides the fact that I feel empowered and informed, there’s something nice about the fact that President Obama and his team hav so quickly shredded the shroud of secrecy that enrobed every last move from the previous Administration.

 
 

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