Posts Tagged ‘database’

FOI DAILY DOSE: Levee breaks may support Army Corps whistleblower claims, watchdog wants unified spending database

Levee issues show whistleblower may be right about Army Corps

Levee breaks on the Missouri River this week may support whistleblower Maria Garzino’s claims against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A Politico article this week noted a February letter from Garzino to the Obama administration explaining various Corps failures. She presents information detailing how New Orleans is still as vulnerable to Hurricane Katrina-level flooding now as it was in 2005.

She also explained that the Corps deceived Congress and the public about a project that led, partly through faulty testing techniques, to the installation of equipment that can’t properly protect New Orleans from flooding.

A film, “The Big Uneasy,” shows how Hurricane Katrina could have been avoided. It follows Garzino and scientific investigation team leaders as they explain the Corps’ failures that contributed to the problems.

Stimulus watchdog calls for unified coding system for fund reports

The federal government’s primary watchdog for stimulus spending spoke with lawmakers Tuesday, calling for an oversight database that tracks federal spending based not on agencies but on funding recipients’ reports.

Recovery and Transparency Accountability Board Chairman Earl Devaney also recommended using a unified coding system for federal spending data. A unified database would save time previously spent working through different systems when codes didn’t match.

The unified system could use a cloud computing data storage model.

Cloud computing outsources IT services like data storage to a remotely accessed shared platform. While a vendor maintains the applications running via the cloud, the agency can more easily handle other issues.

This model is used on the website and has saved time and money in the year since it was implemented, Devaney said.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email ( or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).



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