Sandy Aid Website Doesn’t Live Up To Stimulus-Tracking Standards

Charles S. Clark | Government Executive | November 1, 2013

On the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy Oct. 29, members of the Obama administration’s special interagency task force were eager to placate the homeowners and business people growing impatient with the pace of arriving grants and contracts for rebuilding.

On Monday, the Housing and Urban Development Department -- which has taken over coordination on Sandy relief since the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force expired Sept. 30 -- announced a combined $5 billion in new aid through a second round of recovery funds to five states and New York City. The HUD Community Development Block Grant funds will help with housing, economic development and infrastructure.

When the newly announced recipients have completed paperwork and the funds begin to flow, the allocations will be published in the Federal Register and eventually incorporated as trackable data on HUD’s portal for Hurricane Sandy. The format’s level of detail, however, while welcomed, is seen by some transparency advocates as below the high standards set by the Recovery Board in 2009, when it began publishing data on to track the government’s massive $840 billion in anti-recession stimulus funds.