2009-05-29: In Ireland, we are far too accepting and comfortable with our politicians, civil and public service employees, semi-state and qwango employees guarding all information … our information … as if their lives depended on it … and transforming any of our ‘Freedom of Information’ Requests into marathon obstacle courses which require a substantial entrance fee !
This is abnormal behaviour … and we cannot – must not – tolerate it any more !!!
Relax, chill-out … and please compare and contrast with …
… an Official United States Government WebSite which contains up-to-date information on how the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 is working, including how funding is being distributed at federal, state, tribal and local levels … and (be sure to sit down for this !) … tools for people to hold the government accountable.
Established under Section 1526 of Division A (Appropriations Provisions), Title XV (Accountability & Transparency) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, this WebSite has a precise job to do …
1. The website shall provide materials explaining what this Act means for citizens. The materials shall be easy to understand and regularly updated.
2. The website shall provide accountability information, including findings from audits, inspectors general, and the Government Accountability Office.
3. The website shall provide data on relevant economic, financial, grant, and contract information in user-friendly visual presentations to enhance public awareness of the use of covered funds.
4. The website shall provide detailed data on contracts awarded by the Federal Government that expend covered funds, including information about the competitiveness of the contracting process, information about the process that was used for the award of contracts, and for contracts over $500,000 a summary of the contract.
5. The website shall include printable reports on covered funds obligated by month to each State and congressional district.
6. The website shall provide a means for the public to give feedback on the performance of contracts that expend covered funds.
7. The website shall include detailed information on Federal Government contracts and grants that expend covered funds, to include the data elements required to comply with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Public Law 109–282), allowing aggregate reporting on awards below $25,000 or to individuals, as prescribed by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
8. The website shall provide a link to estimates of the jobs sustained or created by the Act.
9. The website shall provide a link to information about announcements of grant competitions and solicitations for contracts to be awarded.
10. The website shall include appropriate links to other government websites with information concerning covered funds, including Federal agency and State websites.
11. The website shall include a plan from each Federal agency for using funds made available in this Act to the agency.
12. The website shall provide information on Federal allocations of formula grants and awards of competitive grants using covered funds.
13. The website shall provide information on Federal allocations of mandatory and other entitlement programs by State, county, or other appropriate geographical unit.
14. To the extent practical, the website shall provide, organized by the location of the job opportunities involved, links to and information about how to access job opportunities, including, if possible, links to or information about local employment agencies, job banks operated by State workforce agencies, the Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop website, State, local and other public agencies receiving Federal funding, and private firms contracted to perform work with Federal funding, in order to direct job seekers to job opportunities created by this Act.
15. The website shall be enhanced and updated as necessary to carry out the purposes of this subtitle.
On-line … the following boxed (and linked) texts can be viewed on every Page …
Accountability & Transparency
This is your money. You have a right to know where it’s going and how it’s being spent. Learn what steps we’re taking to conduct oversight of funds distributed under this law in order to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.
Fraud, Waste & Abuse
Large amounts of cash can attract fraud. Learn how to report any suspected waste and misuse of the recovery money.
Importantly … there also is a specific Page dealing with the Whistleblower Protection provided by Section 1553 of Division A (Appropriations Provisions), Title XV (Accountability & Transparency) of the ARRA. There is even information included about making a Whistleblower Reprisal Complaint !
Does this blow your mind … or does this blow your mind ?!?!