Devaney, in Final Column, Urges Taxpayers to Press Data Reforms

Dec 15, 2011, 07:00 ET from Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recovery Board Chairman Earl E. Devaney, who is retiring on December 31 after 41 years of service in the federal government, said taxpayers need to get involved if the Board's successes are to be implemented across government.

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In his final column posted on, Devaney said, "Government, quite simply, is an institution of both frustration and opportunity.  The bureaucracy moves slowly, painfully so, frustrating even the best ideas."

However, he said, "persistence and good planning can create opportunities for positive change," and the Recovery Board had "maximized our opportunities, shining the spotlight on Recovery Act spending and developing a unique oversight program designed to prevent misuse of funds by recipients."

But Devaney said if the Board's successes are to be implemented across government, taxpayers need to press for those changes.  He said there is a bi-partisan legislative proposal now before Congress called the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act or DATA Act – that could ensure that the transparency and accountability found in the Recovery Board operations are required of all government agencies. 

"I stand ready in retirement to do all that I can to help see this reform realized  …" Devaney wrote. "But really, in the end, it's up to the taxpayers … to force change in your government.  I guess it all depends on how badly you want to know how the government spends your money – more than $3.5 trillion in fiscal 2011."

Devaney's Chairman's Corner column is posted on

The Recovery Board operates the website that carries information on how the $840 billion in Recovery funds have been spent.

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SOURCE Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board