According to a recent report conducted by Good Jobs First, West Virginia state government has been recognized as doing an exemplary job of providing online information about how its federal stimulus funds are being distributed across the state. About $1.8 billion has been directed to the Mountain State through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was enacted in February.
“It has been a total team effort by our state departments and our web design partner, West Virginia Interactive, to keep our Stimulus information as transparent, accurate and user-friendly for our citizens. We will continue to work diligently to keep the site as functional and informative as possible,” said the governor.
Good Jobs First, a non-profit research center based in Washington, ranked West Virginia’s Recovery Act Web site (www.recovery.wv.gov) as fourth best in the nation. The report titled, “Show Us the Stimulus: An Evaluation of State Government Recovery Act Websites,” rated state Web sites on several categories.
West Virginia obtained a maximum score possible for data provided on job creation, which has been noted as one of the most important goals of the Recovery Act. The state also received perfect scores for its listing of program allocations and for centralizing all project data on the main ARRA web site. Each state received a score based on the following features of their web sites: planned spending by categories, spending totals broken down in county level data, location of projects, descriptions of projects (including contractor information and dollar amounts of contracts), project status, and the number of jobs retained or created.
Six states scored 50 or better for their main Recovery Act website: Maryland (80), Colorado (68), Washington (63), West Virginia (60), New York (53) and Pennsylvania (50). The maximum possible score was 100. The average score for all states was 28.2, and the median score was 25.
"West Virginia has one of the best state ARRA web sites in the country in terms of providing information about both stimulus spending programs and individual projects," said Philip Mattera, research director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the report.
Good Jobs First is a national policy resource center for grassroots groups and public officials, promoting corporate and government accountability in economic development and smart growth for working families. More information is available at www.goodjobsfirst.org.