Surprise: Tracking stimulus spending will be harder than thought

But three months after the bill was signed, offers little beyond news releases, general breakdowns of spending, and acronym-laden spreadsheets and timelines. And congressional Democrats, state officials and advocates of open government worry that the White House cannot come close to clearing the high bar it set.

Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), who chaired a House hearing about stimulus transparency this month, hailed Obama for seeking more openness than the Bush administration. But he added that the Obama team, tech-savvy as it is, has promised more than it can deliver. “It’s proven to be much more difficult than anyone imagined going in,” he said. “They may not achieve the transparency they set out to.”