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$18M Spent To Redesign Recovery.gov Site

From the often surprising ABC News:

A new ad from the RNC mocking the Obama administration’s decision to allocate additional funds to the redesign of the Recovery.gov web site.

$18M Being Spent to Redesign Recovery.gov Web Site

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: For those concerned about stimulus spending, the General Services Administration sends word tonight that $18 million in additional funds are being spent to redesign the Recovery.gov Web site.

The new Web site promises to give taxpayers more information about where their money is going than the current version of the site.

Recovery.gov 2.0 will use innovative and interactive technologies to help taxpayers see where their dollars are being spent,” James A. Williams, commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, says in a press release announcing the contract awarded to Maryland-based Smartronix Inc. “Armed with easy access to this information, taxpayers can make government more accountable for its decisions.” 

The contract calls for spending $9.5 million through January, and as much as $18 million through 2014, according to the GSA press release.

“We are pleased that another major milestone has been achieved," Earl E. Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, says in the press release. “We thank the GSA for its assistance and look forward to working with Smartronix."

This is preposterous.

How much could it possibly cost to redesign a web site?

And mind you, this is the site that is supposed to keep the stimulus money from being wasted.

Isn’t irony ironic?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, July 10th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “$18M Spent To Redesign Recovery.gov Site”

  1. proreason says:

    How much did you pay on the recent redesign of your web site Steve?

    In Obamyland, you could make millions for a few weeks work.

    • qbit says:

      Multi-Mega Ditto’s to that …..As a web developer I can tell you I can Definately redesign that web site for a fraction of that cost, a very small fraction, and still have the cash for a new Ferrari.

    • jobeth says:

      Pro…I do believe some of that money must have gone to buy Michelle my belle her shoes and hand bags….whats a few thousand among millions?

      In her defense I’m sure she saw to it they all matched.

  2. tranquil.night says:

    So let me get this straight: $18 million of the stimulus is going to redesign the site tracking money spent from the stimulus. Well that’s great, now hopefully we’ll know where the other $682 mil went by January 2014.

    HotAir reports that Smartronix has donated about 19k to Steny Hoyer since ’99, apparently perhaps enough to get the bulk of its government contracts through single-bid (no) competition.

    Good point, p.r. :P

  3. crosspatch says:

    Entire companies are started in Silicon Valley on less venture money than this. Twitter’s last round of funding was only 15 million. What are they planning to do, turn recovery.gov into a social networking portal? The company I am with got only 10 million in funding in its latest round and that is for significant infrastructure growth and we have about 200 employees.

    This is another example of the kleptomaniacal Democrats stealing the taxpayers’ money.

  4. MinnesotaRush says:

    I’ll do the redesign for 2 mill. Or should I say, “volunteer” to do the redesign for 2 mill (obama-speak volunteer).

    By the way, what a great ad there by the RNC. Thx for that posting, Steve. Boy, we need to see more of that kind of stuff, ay.

  5. Steve says:

    David Freddoso has pointed out some other angles to this boondoggle, at the Washington Examiner:

    Updated: Hoyer-linked firm wins $18M Recovery.gov contract

    By: David Freddoso

    ABC reports this morning that the Maryland firm Smartronix has won what seems like an enormous $18 million contract to re-design the Recovery.gov website. Approximately $9.5 million would be spent by January in order to make “Recovery 2.0” out of the site that is supposed to track the spending of federal stimulus funds in detail.

    Smartronix, a medium-sized Maryland-based firm (over 500 employees) founded in 1995, boasts a large number of government clients, mostly military. The company appears to have just one important political connection: according to FEC records, Smartronix president, Mohammed Javaid, vice president Alan Parris, and partner John Parris have together given $19,000 to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D) since 1999. There is no record of a Smartronix employee contributing to any other federal politician.

    UPDATE: Smartronix got $260 million in other federal contracts

    Smartronix has received more than $260 million in federal contracts since the year 2000, with the top awarding agencies being the U.S. Navy, Federal Technology Service, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Minerals Management Service, and the Office of Policy, Management and Budget (not clear which department or agency issued this contract), according to USASpending.gov.

    Nearly $180 million of the contracts awarded to Smartronix during the period 2000-2009 were awarded on less-than-competitive basis, including $21 million for non-competitive awards. Another $33 million was awarded in competitive processes in which Smartronix was the sole bidder.

    — Update by Mark Tapscott.

    UPDATE II: Hoyer spokesman demands headline change

    Stephanie Lundberg, Hoyer’s spokesman, said the House Majority Leader had no involvement in the awarding of the contract to Smartronix, and that his office didn’t even know about the award until last night, presumably as a result of a posting on the ABC News blog, The Note.

    Lundberg also strongly objected to what she called “the suggestion in your headline that this was awarded to them because of Mr. Hoyer. He had no involvement whatsoever with this contract, and you should change the headline. That crosses the line.” Lundberg also said Smartronix is “just a small company in our district, in St. Mary’s County, they have no political involvement, they were just supporting their hometown congressman.”

    St. Mary’s County, MD, is at the lower tip of the Southern Maryland peninsula and is home to multiple Navy facilities, including the Naval Air Station Patuxent. — Update by Mark Tapscott


    Although the short timeline of the Recovery 2.0 project may render the comparison unfair, the site will be vastly more expensive than USASpending.gov, whose purpose is similar. The USA Spending site, which came about as a result of transparency legislation written by then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., tracks federal contract spending by state, zip code, and Congressional District, as well as by contractor and type of award. It also gives details down to the transaction level for contracts made in every year since 2000.

    The software package for USASpending.gov was purchased from a non-profit budget watchdog group, OMB Watch, for just $600,000.

    One thing the new Recovery site must do that USA Spending does not is gather information from contractors on how they use the money — for example, how many jobs they create with stimulus money. But this information will be submitted by federal stimulus contractors through the web portal FederalReporting.gov, which has another contractor, CGI Federal.

    Ed Pound, a spokesman for the agency that operates Recovery.gov, told The Examiner that Recovery 2.0 will have even more functions than USA Spending. He rejected any notion that the $9.5 million cost for the rest of this year, or the potential $8.5 million in optional renewals for the out years, is excessive. “I would personally describe that as nonsense,” said Pound. “We are not interested in wasting the taxpayers’ money.”

    Pound said that three companies bid on this particular project, which will develop a functional site “from scratch” by October 10 and maintain it thereafter. “We picked the very best of the three we had,” he said.

    UPDATE IV: Smartronix query

    A Smartronix spokeswoman who promised this morning to call The Examiner about the contract has not yet done so.


  6. mikieco says:

    $18 million???? I will do it for half that. I’m sure I could find some guy in India that will do all the work for $1,000 and I will pocket the rest. Or maybe that is what GSA is already planing.

  7. Liberals Demise says:

    What……..no open bidding anymore? Oh, I forgot……..my bad. It’s not the American way anymore.
    God I miss the hillbillies from Arkansas!

  8. Right of the People says:

    Crap, I’ve got a copy of Front Page ’98 around here somewhere. Give me a couple of hundred grand and a case of Wild Turkey and I’ll have that sucker running for you a couple of days, tops.

  9. BatK says:

    Sick, sick, sick… who was it that said “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”?

  10. katmeredith says:

    Seriously, we should be able to work up some real outrage for this one. $18 MILLION? for a website? Like crosspatch said, Twitter only spent $15M and they’re the fastest growing internet craze right now. Who’s even been to recovery.org? I stay away the White House’s websites unless Steve links to them. I figure they’re mostly unnecessary propaganda.

  11. Diane says:

    Holy mother of pearl! I’ve been redesigning my company’s website (as well as working tech support and doing other programming jobs) for only $80K per year, plus benefits. I’ve got to ask for a raise.

    Of course, there is one difference. My website actually works.

  12. VMAN says:

    This whole stimulus program is just a scheme to funnel money to whack job lefties and commies. Can’t we get someone to “follow the money” as they say. The SSA spend 800,000 buck on a retreat but oh you evil business you better not have a conference to entertain you top and potential clients. Don’t you give a bonus to that guy that just saved you companies bacon and DON”T you DARE fly on a company jet. The O Hole says “yea will er a give you an 18 million dollar a a a contract er a a just make sure you er give a nice huge donation to the Commie Lib Traitor defense fund”.

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