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Recovery.gov FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Accountability and Transparency
This is your money. You have a right to know where it's going and how it's being spent. Learn what steps we're taking to ensure you can track our progress every step of the way.

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Share your Recovery Story
Tell us how the Recovery Act is affecting you. What's working? What isn't? We want to hear from you.

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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Recovery.gov?
Where can I learn more about how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will affect the budget?
How will the Recovery Act work?
I heard I'd be able to track recovery funds. Why can’t I do that?
Who runs Recovery.gov?
I want to help. What can I do?
How can I see how much recovery money is coming to my community?
What is the purpose of the new legislation?
Where can I find the full text of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009?
What type of programs will this recovery package fund?
Where can I learn more about how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will affect the budget?
What will I be able to locate on Recovery.gov?
What is a better way to find the information I’m looking for - browsing or searching?
How does Recovery.gov differ from USASpending.gov?
How can I contact the Administration with questions or comments about Recovery.gov and the recovery package?
Is Recovery.gov accessible for people for with disabilities?
What is a fiscal year (FY)?
Is the spending data on recovery.gov available in a format (like XML) that developers can use to create mashups and gadgets?


Q: What is Recovery.gov
A: Recovery.gov is a website that lets you, the taxpayer, figure out where the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going. There are going to be a few different ways to search for information. Within days after the signing of the legislation, Federal agencies will start distributing funds, and you will be able to see which states, Congressional districts, and even Federal contractors are receiving them. As soon as we are able to, we'll display that information visually, through maps, charts, and graphics.


Q: Where can I learn more about how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will affect the budget?
A: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has calculated the impact that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will have on the federal government's budget deficit. You can review those calculations in full, or read a summary on the CBO blog. For more information visit the White House website or, for legislative information, the Library of Congress's THOMAS.


Q: How will the Recovery Act work?
A: Very soon, the different agencies -- such as the Departments of Education; Health and Human Services; and Energy -- will decide who will receive award grants and contracts. Sometimes the money will go to a state government; other times, the funds will go directly to a school, hospital, contractor, or other organization. Agencies will then deliver that information to the Recovery.gov team. We will subsequently make the information available on Recovery.gov, and you will be able to track where the money is going. You'll be able to search by state or even by Congressional district; you'll be able to look up names of Federal contractors or other recipients of Federal dollars; and you'll be able to send in comments, thoughts, ideas, questions, and any responses you have to what you find.


Q: I heard I'd be able to track recovery funds. Why can't I do that?
A: You aren't able to track funds yet because we have not yet started receiving information from Federal agencies on how they are going to allocate the money. It takes a little bit of time for them to make sure your money is going to be spent wisely. Right now, the site features an overview of the law and an explanation of what it is intended to accomplish. You will have access to data as soon as we begin receiving it from agencies.


Q: Who runs Recovery.gov?
A: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act establishes an oversight board of inspectors general (the watchdogs of government) called the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which is responsible for overseeing Federal agencies to ensure that there is transparency and accountability for the expenditure of recovery funds. For the interim period until that board becomes operational, the President has coordinated a team from across Federal agencies to track Recovery Act dollars and report findings on this website.


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Q: I want to help. What can I do?
A: Over the course of the spring, increasing amounts of information will become available on Recovery.gov that will show where the money is going. We are counting on you to peruse that information and tell us what you find. Please share your stories, your ideas, and your comments. They will then be sent to the Board for their review.


Q: How can I see how much recovery money is coming to my community?
A: Until the funding is distributed by the Federal government to states and local governments, and eventually to your community, we won't be able to determine exactly where all of the funding will go. Over the next few weeks and months, there's going to be a lot of data coming in, as we coordinate with different agencies. As soon as the first dollars start to go out, you'll be able to track where the money is going. Detailed state maps will be available to assist your tracking.


Q: What's the purpose of the new legislation?
A: The purpose of the Recovery Act is to create and save jobs, jumpstart our economy, and build the foundation for long-term economic growth. The Act includes measures to modernize the nation's infrastructure, enhance America's energy independence, expand educational opportunities, increase access to health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.


Q: Where can I find the full text of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009?
A: The text of the law can be found in Text or PDF format here.


Q: What type of programs will this recovery package fund?
A: The Recovery Act specifies appropriations for a wide range of Federal programs and will increase or extend certain benefits payable under the Medicaid, unemployment compensation, and nutrition assistance programs. The legislation also reduces individual and corporate income tax collections and makes a variety of other changes to tax laws. The package provides funds that will:

Create a framework for clean, efficient, American energy;
Transform our economy with science and technology;
Modernize roads, bridges, transit and waterways;
Overhaul education for the 21st Century;
Dispense tax cuts to make work pay and create jobs;
Expand access to healthcare and lower costs;
Provide assistance to workers hurt by the economy;
Save public sector jobs and protect vital services;
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Q: What will I be able to locate on Recovery.gov?
A: Federal agencies are taking in bids for recovery projects, so right now, Recovery.gov features a summary of the funds that are allocated for different programs, as well as the responsible Federal agencies. As Federal agencies and other recipient organizations report information about their spending plans, we will post that information on the site. We are currently developing systems to track the funds and report results.


Q: What’s a better way to find the information I’m looking for -- browsing or searching?
A: The website will have both functions, but for now, browsing is a better bet. As we begin to fill the database with more data, the search function will be more useful in finding specific information.


Q: How does Recovery.gov differ from USASpending.gov?
A: Recovery.gov tracks only the targeted investments allocated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. USASpending.gov collects data about all types of contracts, grants, loans, and spending across government agencies.


Q: How can I contact the Administration with questions or comments about Recovery.gov and the recovery package?
A: The best method to comment or ask a question on Recovery.gov is to use our contact us form. The question or message will be referred to the best person to handle the matter, and they will respond as quickly as possible.

For questions about the federal government, visit USA.gov or call 1 (800) FED INFO (1-800-333-4636) (8 am-8 pm ET Monday-Friday).


Q: Is Recovery.gov accessible for people for with disabilities?
A: Recovery.gov complies with all of the automatic checkpoints of the Section 508 Accessibility Guidelines, and has been manually verified for nearly all of the manual checkpoints.

This compliance has been tested using Watchfire WebXACT program. Because Recovery.gov uses dynamically generated Web pages, it is not possible to test literally every page. However, each dynamically generated output style can be tested. We plan to continue to upgrade Recovery.gov's accessibility for individuals with disabilities in forthcoming updates.


Q: What is a fiscal year (FY)?
A: For accounting purposes, the Federal government uses a defined 12-month period as a financial or fiscal year. The Federal fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following calendar year. For instance, fiscal year 2009 is 10/1/2008 - 9/30/2009.


Q: Is the spending data on recovery.gov available in a format (like XML) that developers can use to create mashups and gadgets?
A: Not at this time. But, as new systems are developed to capture the allocations and expenditures under the Act, we plan to make that data available in exportable form.


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Added: Feb-17-2009 Occurred On: Feb-17-2009
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Tags: politics, bailout, obama, taxes, republican, democrat, menderman
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