As stated in the note from the Sunlight Foundation′s Board Chair, as of September 2020 the Sunlight Foundation is no longer active. This site is maintained as a static archive only.

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Tag Archive:’s Systemic Failure


The new which we've written about and even nearly bid on-- has certainly taken the government huge steps forward in terms of disclosing information, but it is not without controversy. The press is questioning the program, pointing to wasteful spending or bad data. The White House fired back with a "reality check"(their words) saying that few of the reports have gone through the "extensive three-week review" and that the data might be particularly misleading at this point.

Continue reading Augmented Reality Mashup


As of today Android and iPhone users can see contract data on their phones via the Layar augmented reality application. Layar is an application that overlays your view of the real world with waypoints representing your favorite coffee place, the movie theatre you're trying to find, or in this case, where some of that $787 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going.

Continue reading recipient data just in

by posted information today showing that 30,383 jobs have been created or saved by the federal contracts that have been awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. So far, $16 billion has been disbursed by 9,100 contracts. The federal government is spending more than $525,000 spent on every job they saved or created.

The release covers just a sliver of stimulus spending: Most recovery money is in the form of grants and loans to the states; data from that spending--including recipient and jobs data--will be available at the end of October. So far, federal contracts ...

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Grading the New

by relaunched yesterday, and we've spent some time playing around with the site since then. The verdict? Well, it's hard to say — the site's a bit broken. There are 404s all over the place, most gallingly on the data download page. Parts of the site seem like they work, but don't: the select boxes on the front page that provide filters for the map don't actually affect its behavior in any way. It's hard to see these glaring bugs alongside the totally-unnecessary link to Facebook and not groan (am I supposed to play Scrabble with Chairman Devaney?).

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Your Input Wanted on Data


Here at the Sunlight Labs, we've focused a lot on the recent bid on version 2.0 of This morning on the Labs mailing list, Rusty Talbot of Synteractive, one of the winning contractors, asked for input on the best way for to publish its data.

Rusty wrote:

The Recovery, Accountability, & Transparency Board wishes to have an open discussion with all interested developers about how data should be made available via

As you are all aware, a new version of will be released soon. From a data standpoint, the initial release of the new site will replicate existing functionality. However, the Board aims to set a new standard of transparency with this site and would therefore like to make the data available in the most convenient and straightforward way (or ways) possible so you can use and analyze official, up-to-date Recovery Act data. We need your input to achieve this goal.

Please let us know how the site could best meet your needs in terms of machine-readable data format(s) and standards, APIs, guidance, training, etc.

This is a great opportunity for all of us who work hard to make government data more open and accessible.

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You Gotta Speak the Language


A long time ago, my grandmother-- born and raised in Albany, Georgia-- went to Germany for my brother's wedding. She'd never been outside the country before and was excited about the trip, and of course, her grandson's wedding. While she was there though, she had a bit of a problem communicating-- see, she didn't speak German. Her solution to the problem was instinctive but not logical-- just speak English loudly and slowly. Increase volume until there's understanding. One person she encountered over there responded to her by speaking German loudly and slowly.

Her response:

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USDA misses the point


Matt Drudge has linked a dozen or so examples of what look to be wasteful spending in the stimulus--$2,531,600 for 'HAM, WATER ADDED, COOKED, FROZEN, SLICED, 2-LB', $1,191,200 for '2 POUND FROZEN HAM SLICED' (I linked that one immediately below), $351,807 for 'REPLACE AND UPGRADE THE DUMBWAITER, $1,562,568 for 'MOZZARELLA CHEESE'... and so on. In response, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture posted the following clarifying information:

The references to "2 pound frozen ham sliced" are to the sizes of the packaging. Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.191 ...

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