Back in July, a software company named Smartronix
 landed an $18 million contract to build a Web site where
taxpayers could easily track billions in federal stimulus money. It was just another part of the Obama administration’s ongoing effort to bring
transparency to stimulus spending, we were told.
But it seems the drive for transparency doesn’t cover the contract itself.
After weeks of prodding by ProPublica and other organizations, the General Services Administration released copies of the contract and related
documents that are so heavily blacked out they are virtually worthless.
Don’t believe us? Take a look
ProPublica sought the contract under the Freedom of Information Act to find out what kind of site Smartronix planned to build and to assess whether it
justified the cost, which Republican critics of the stimulus plan called “unreal
Ed Pound, the director of communications for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, defended the redactions as “legitimate.” The Web
site Smartronix is to build will replace Recovery.gov
, the existing stimulus Web portal run by the
“I’m not concerned about whether journalists are concerned about this,” Pound said. “We have been very transparent.”
The GSA declined to comment, but said in its response to ProPublica’s FOIA request that such redactions were allowed if material “involves
substantial risk of competitive injury” to a contractor.
But the blacked-out information includes material that seems harmless to the company, such as the names and backgrounds of
 and the
number of visitors expected
 by the site during traffic
Some sections of the contract were redacted in their entirety. They include:
the project’s management structure
something called the “Strategic Advisory Council
five pages on user experience
four unidentified pages
 on which everything, even section
headings, have been redacted;
every single piece of information in the document’s pricing table
, including function, vendor, model, part ID, detail and quantity;
the contract’s warranty agreement
Read the Rest HERE
TALK ABOUT TRANSPARENCY!!!!