Devaney Urges Continuation of Recovery Board to Consolidate Data, Save Millions of Dollars

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recovery Board Chairman Earl E. Devaney said today that taxpayers would save tens of millions of dollars annually if a single agency collected and displayed all government spending data for contracts, grants, and loans issued by federal agencies.

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Devaney laid out his plan for reforming the federal system for collecting and displaying data in a 13-page white paper titled, "Accountability and Transparency, Template for the Future.'' The white paper was posted in his Chairman's Corner on Recovery.gov.

In testimony today before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Devaney said he had developed the white paper "in an attempt to answer the question of how the Board's accomplishments can continue long after'' the Recovery program ends.

Devaney told lawmakers that the experiences of the Board have shown that spending data can be collected from recipients of federal funds with "a high degree of accuracy'' and can lead to "unprecedented levels of transparency.''

Devaney said the Recovery Board, scheduled to go out of existence in September 2013, should be reconstituted to oversee the collection and display of all federal spending. The Board's Recovery Operations Center (ROC), which uses sophisticated analytical tools designed to prevent fraud, could be used as the principal oversight arm in this new system, the Chairman said.

Devaney described his plan to consolidate collection-display operations as a "universal one-stop shop.'' He explained that FederalReporting.gov., which collects Recovery recipient data, would be used to collect spending data throughout the government.  Another Board website, FederalTransparency.gov, would serve as the public-facing site for displaying data collected through FederalReporting.gov. A new website, FederalAccountability.gov, would give agencies and oversight personnel access to accountability tools now housed in the Recovery Operations Center.

Devaney said his consolidation plan would clearly save the taxpayers significant sums, conservatively $50 million annually and probably much more, based on analysis by the Recovery Board's staff. "Economically, centralizing the government's financial collection and display systems ... is a winning idea sure to save taxpayer dollars,'' he wrote.

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SOURCE Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board



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