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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Details of contract for transparency site not transparent

ProPublica and other organizations requested copies of the Obama administration's $18 million contract with Smartronix, a software company hired to build the Web site "where taxpayers could easily track billions in federal stimulus money." However, the contract and related documents are heavily redacted. The General Services Administration justified the redactions by saying they are allowed if material "involves substantial risk of competitive injury" to a contractor. Of the 59-page technical proposal, 25 pages were completely redacted, and 14 pages had half or more of their content blacked out.
Back in July, a software company named Smartronix landed an $18 million contract to build a Web site where taxpayers could easily track billions in federal stimulus money. It was just another part of the Obama administration’s ongoing effort to bring transparency to stimulus spending, we were told.

But it seems the drive for transparency doesn’t cover the contract itself.

After weeks of prodding by ProPublica and other organizations, the General Services Administration released copies of the contract and related documents that are so heavily blacked out they are virtually worthless.
More here.

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