States for a Transparent and Accountable Recovery (STAR) Coalition is a new network of groups that recently formed to work at the state and local levels to ensure that the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 is transparent, accountable, fair and effective. The coalition functions with the belief that active civic engagement, enabled by full transparency, is the only way to achieve true accountability and that the stimulus funds are used wisely and appropriately. The STAR Coalition collaborates actively with the Coalition for an Accountable Recovery (CAR), of which Sunlight is a member. Both coalitions believe the best way to assure taxpayers that the funds are being used responsibly is to provide “radical” transparency on stimulus spending and to make the details of the stimulus available in online, in real time.

Today, the STAR Coalition launched its Web site, While pretty much a simple listing of resources on the recovery package, I  found their Web links page full of good information. It’s a real treasure trove of important links to federal, state, nonprofit- and media-based stimulus tracking sites.  They also have a page listing recovery act Web sites for various cities. And the site’s Recovery Act Info Center page assist users in finding stimulus spending accountability profiles for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. These pages contain:

* An evaluation of the state’s Recovery Act Web site, especially with regard to disclosure of contractor information.

* Details on Recovery Act oversight policies and structures.

* A synopsis of policy debates on ARRA issues occurring in the state.

* Key data such as total ARRA funding the state is expected to receive.

* Listings of watchdog organizations, their ARRA-related publications, and other resources.

The STAR Coalition promised to expand their site as significant amounts of contractor and grantee data becomes available from the federal government.

Categorized in:
Share This:
  • Roger Williams

    You are quite right about the inundation of “transparency” information. However, I do believe that the organizations that do a splendid job of providing, to the public, information that is clear and concise will prevail, and those which do not do a good of a job will go the way of the cassette tape. I’m quite optimistic that we’re on the right track. The American populace is becoming more and more savvy and, therefore, better at determining what works best as forms of information sources.

  • Ellen,

    Good news, but why CAR *and* STAR? I worry about information overload, particularly as a tool for obfuscation. We can drown in transparency as easily as suffocate in secrecy. What is needed is a simple delivery system to the people, who will not take the time to master all these sites, but *will* want to know what is going on with their money. I hope Sunlight is at work fashioning something along these lines.