(Phillip Moyer/Nevada News Bureau) – The official Nevada Recovery site uploaded new data this weekend in response to a report of $830 million in ARRA stimulus funds awarded to Nevada State Agencies in the fourth quarter of 2009.
The new data covers the funding awarded to programs that are subject to reporting under the requirements of section 1512 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment act.
The uploaded reports exist as part of a series of changes the Nevada recovery site has undergone in response to a report published last July by Good Jobs First, a nonprofit national policy resource center that provides information on state and local jobs.
The report rated Nevada’s recovery site as one of the worst in the nation, better only than Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois and Utah. At the time, the website had little more than general information on programs to which the funds were awarded and links to the agencies set to complete projects using the stimulus money.
Charles D. Harvey, the Nevada state ARRA director, says he began working with the ARRA office to improve the website since having been appointed by Gov. Jim Gibbons in August of last year.
“The original report by Good Jobs First rated us fairly low, and we recognized that there were some significant revisions needed,” Harvey said. “We hired a consultant to come in and look at the website and give us some recommendations, and we hired contractors to make changes.”
Since that report, the site has added information about job creation, project details, more specific program information and some downloadable data. Last week, goodjobsfirst.org released a new report that gave Nevada’s site a much higher score, ranking it 25th out of 51.
Harvey says the Nevada ARRA office will continue to work on the site and add new features in the coming months, including implementing a map that shows where the stimulus funding is going – a suggestion made in Good Jobs First’s latest reports.
Harvey also says the office plans to provide a more user-friendly presentation of the quarterly 1512 reports along with publishing reports of stimulus money that isn’t covered under ARRA section 1512.
Currently, the recovery site links to the Federal stimulus tracking site, Recovery.gov, which contains numerous features that the State recovery site does not, including an interactive map.
However, the Federal site has previously been criticized for reporting errors such as erroneous zip codes and phantom congressional districts, though those issues appear to have been fixed after recovery.gov’s latest update which also occurred over the weekend.
The two sites also report differing amounts of funds awarded to the state. The Nevada site estimates that $2.1 billion has been allocated to state agencies, while the federal site only reports $1.4 billion in awards to Nevada.