More broken promises by Obama on transparency

While there are a few stories about these broken promises, whole books could be written on them at this point. While I don't think that this stimulus package has anything to do with creating new additional jobs, the Senate should refuse to pass the stimulus until after this information is released. From the Associated Press.

The Obama administration is refusing to release government records on its "cash-for-clunkers" rebate program that would substantiate—or undercut—White House claims of the program's success, even as the president presses the Senate for a quick vote for $2 billion to boost car sales.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Sunday the government would release electronic records about the program, and President Barack Obama has pledged greater transparency for his administration. But the Transportation Department, which has collected details about 157,000 rebate requests, won't release sales data that dealers provided showing how much U.S. car manufacturers are benefiting from the $1 billion initially pumped into the program.

The Associated Press has sought release of the data since last week. But the public and Senate Republicans demanding more information will have to wait for details because federal officials running the program don't have time to turn over data delivered by car dealers, said Rae Tyson, spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

LaHood said in an interview Sunday he would make the electronic records available. "I can't think of any reason why we wouldn't do it," he said.

DOT officials already have received electronic details from car dealers of each trade-in transaction. The agency regularly analyzes the data internally, producing helpful talking points for LaHood, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs and other officials to use when urging more funding. . . .

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Blogger Chris Bennett said...

It probably has something to do with how stupid the whole dealer interaction process is.

A member of my family works at a dealership and is responsible for processing the government claims, there's a lengthy form to fill out, (17 pages I seem to recal) then scan in, and then upload to the .gov site ... And the process will likley time out, and have to be uploaded again, and again, before it will thru.

Here are my possible explanations,

1. the average person performing this task at the dealerships is not downsizing the scans before they attempt to upload them, and is trying to upload enormous files, (defectively DDoS'ing the upload site)
2. The .gov site is inefficient and is not capable of the bandwith required for such an undertaking
3. Whoa, there's a lot of people who are perfectly happy getting 4500 dollars for their old beater that was worth 100 dollars at a salvage yard last month.

I would think that for this program of this scale to run successfully, it would require an actual client on the local computer system to accept the scanned documents, and resize them to a tolerable size, or, I don't know, do the application form online in the first place, and upload a signature page!

8/04/2009 3:57 PM  

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