The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board announced today that Recovery.gov has moved to a cloud computing infrastructure, a technology that will allow for more efficient computer operations, improved security and reduced costs.
Recovery.gov is the U.S. government’s official Web site that provides access to data related to Recovery Act spending and allows for the reporting of potential fraud, waste, and abuse.
The Board’s prime contractor, Smartronix, Inc., selected Amazon Web Services’ EC2 cloud service offering for Recovery.gov and is the first government-wide system to move to the cloud.
The expected benefits from moving to the cloud include:
Enhanced Recovery.gov security. The improved computer security includes, but is not limited to, greater protection against network attacks and real time detection of system tampering. In essence, Amazon’s computer security platform has been added to the Board’s own security system, which the Board’s staff will continue to maintain and operate.
Cost savings. The Board expects savings of about $750,000 during its current budget cycle and significantly more savings, long-term.
Freeing up resources. The Board’s staff will be able to focus more intently on its core mission of delivering rich content for Recovery.gov users without worrying about managing the website’s underlying data center and related computer equipment.
Improved accountability mission. The Board will have the opportunity to redirect more than $1 million in computer hardware and software to its sophisticated oversight operations, a move that will help identify fraud, waste and abuse in the Recovery program.
“Cloud computing strikes me as a perfect tool to help achieve greater transparency and accountability,” said Earl E. Devaney, the Board’s Chairman. “Moving to the cloud allows us to provide better service at lower costs. I hope this development will inspire other government entities to accelerate their own efforts. The American taxpayers would be the winners.”
The announcement comes shortly after several government Web sites, were hacked in an attack that redirected visitors to web sites containing malicious content. The hacked sites included BEP.gov, BEP.treas.gov, MoneyFactory.gov and Moneyfactory.com and were apparently hacked using an iFrame that injected malicious codes into the site and sent data to computers located in Ukraine.