## Sunday, August 16, 2009

### $18M Contract For Federal Transparency Website Released — But Blacked Out http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/08/13/195235/18M-Contract-For-Transparency-Website-Released-mdash-But-Blacked-Out "The US government recently approved an$18 million contract for Smartronix to build a website where taxpayers could easily track billions in federal stimulus money, as part of President Obama's promise to make government more transparent through the Internet. However, the contract, which was released only through repeated Freedom of Information Act requests, is itself heavily blacked out. ProPublica reports: 'After weeks of prodding by ProPublica and other organizations, the Government Services Agency released copies of the contract and related documents that are so heavily blacked out they are virtually worthless. In all, 25 pages of a 59-page technical proposal — the main document in the package — were redacted completely. Of the remaining pages, 14 had half or more of their content blacked out.' Sections that were heavily or entirely redacted dealt with subjects such as site navigation, user experience, and everything in the pricing table. The entire contract, in all its blacked-out glory, is here."

To be fair, if you let people know what you are doing with their money there is a chance they won't like it, and will try to stop you from spending it.