Back when we started to evaluate the management of state and local governments about twenty years ago, we noticed a curious phenomenon. Governments that were weak in this field, tended to be relatively satisfied with what they were doing. By contrast, ambitious governments were often the most aggressive at figuring out how to improve still further. We thought of this phenomenon the other day when we saw that Wisconsin had just announced improvements to its stimulus website.
In the Good Jobs First evaluation of websites that we wrote about in early March, Wisconsin was ranked fourth (tied with Minnesota, and Colorado, and just behind Maryland, Kentucky and Connecticut). We turned to our friends at Good Jobs First to see which of the new Wisconsin features they found most worthy of notice.
Here’s what research analyst Thomas Cafcas says:
One great new feature is a search box that combs the recovery act data for the state:
They also posted some distress metrics including county foreclosure rates:
Another feature we like is the mapping of recovery act bond allocations:
A big improvement is the disclosure of wages related to recovery act jobs across all sectors and a distribution of disadvantaged contracts. (Cafcas believes the labeling could be clearer, though, and he said he’d also like to see more demographic information relating to workers who benefited.)
Coming up soon: A short interview we did with Wisconsin’s Recovery Act Director Chris Patton