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Senators disappointed with stimulus-tracking site

Senators on Thursday said they were not impressed with Recovery.gov, the government's official Web site for tracking Recovery Act funds.

The site -- maintained by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board -- is not user-friendly, members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said during an oversight hearing.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., noted that weekly agency reports on stimulus activities were not written or displayed in a manner that the public could understand. Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., expressed concern that the site made it difficult to search for contracts or grants. The site should have search capabilities similar to USASpending.gov, he said.

Earl Devaney, head of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, acknowledged that the site is a work in progress. He said the board is in the process of hiring an outside entity to conduct an independent review.

The board also will hold an electronic town hall meeting in the coming weeks so the public can offer advice on new technology and data collection methods. Then Devaney's panel will hire a vendor to help build a new Recovery.gov.

The stimulus watchdog assured Coburn that the revamped site would include many of the most useful features found on USASpening.gov.

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