VA brings transparency to stimulus requests — and we hear from a Obama CTO candidate?
I mentioned about Virginia’s initiative to bring some transparency to who gets any stimulus money that may come to the state. Earlier this week, VA Gov. Tim Kaine launched stimulus.virginia.gov — a Web portal that lets people see proposed spending for the stimulus package.
On Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we got to talk to Virginia’s Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra about the site, about transparency, and about why it matters. Hear that conversation here.
The site is worth checking out — relatively simple. But also built at no cost. And it provides transparency… it provides real, ongoing accountability. And the state is making data available so people can them mash it up in various ways. Chopra even mentioned StimulusWatch.org, created by Jerry Brito, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. That site to look at stimulus “shovel ready” projects and help vhett them. Brito was on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris earlier this month. Hear that conversation here. Brito and his team at StimulusWatch are looking at mashing up the Virginia stimulus data that makes it more clear.
Meanwhile, we noticeably did not ask Chopra about reports that he is on the Obama CTO short list. (Actually, when we concluded our interview, I joked that we specifically wouldn’t mention it.) But I think if you listen to our conversation, you get a sense that Chopra has at least thought about the job. Interestingly, if selected, it would reunite Chopra and Vivek Kundra, who has been selected but not officially announced as the OMB administrator of e-government and IT. In fact, it is a growing list of people who have been appointed but not announced.
After the break, read the FAQ on the Virginia stimulus Web portal… and Chopra’s bio…
Aneesh Chopra is currently Virginia’s Fourth Secretary of Technology serving Governor Tim Kaine. In this capacity, he leads the Commonwealth’s strategy to effectively leverage technology in government reform, promotes Virginia’s innovation agenda, and fosters technology-related economic development with a special emphasis on entrepreneurship.
For the Governor, Secretary Chopra chairs the Solutions Committee of the IT Investment Board, the Effectiveness and Efficiency Committee of the Council on Virginia’s Future, and co-chairs the Healthcare IT Council with Health Secretary Marilyn Tavenner.
Secretary Chopra was awarded the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) 2007 State Leadership Advocacy Award, and was also recently named to Government Technology magazine’s Top 25 in their Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers issue, which recognizes the 25 individuals they believe help set the standard for using technology to improve government.
Prior to joining Governor Kaine’s cabinet, Aneesh served as Managing Director with the Advisory Board Company, a publicly-traded health care think tank serving nearly 2,500 hospitals and health systems. He led the firm’s Financial Leadership Council and the Working Council for Health Plan Executives, as well as assisted the launch of the firm’s first business intelligence software solution, Compass.
Aneesh graduated with a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997. He graduated with a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1994.
And the FAQ from the Virigina stimulus portal :
How do I use this site?
The Commonwealth has launched Stimulus.Virginia.Gov as a centralized location for potential projects that may benefit from federal stimulus funds. The projects can be submitted by anyone using the proposal web form provided. These suggestions will be posted on the Virginia Stimulus webpage and shared with state government officials. All the information will be public.
How will my suggestions be used?
Governor Kaine and his staff are already working to ensure the interests of Virginia’s citizens are well represented as the economic stimulus package is developed by Congress and the President. Once the package becomes law, staff will identify projects from this website that may qualify for funding and follow up with the identified contact for the project. In many cases, the information will be sent to localities and other governmental entities because they will be responsible for picking projects.
Which suggestions end up on the webpage?
The webpage is open to the public and the data presented will be a compilation of all web form submittals. However, suggestions that contain objectionable content—including inappropriate language, themes, or threats—will not be posted on the website.
How long is my submission window?
The Commonwealth will be accepting proposals submitted through the website beginning February 10th, 2009. An end date for proposal submissions will be determined and announced at a later date depending on the conditions and stipulations of the final economic stimulus package.
Who is eligible to submit ideas?
The website is open for citizens, groups, localities, and others to use to share project proposals for potential funding from the federal stimulus package.
Can I submit more than one proposal?
More than one proposal can be submitted at any time. Upon completing a submission, users will be presented with a link to take them back to the form to complete additional proposals.