This is from the House version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:
(1) To preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery.
(2) To assist those most impacted by the recession.
(3) To provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health.
(4) To invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits.
(5) To stabilize State and local government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases.
The money allocated must be used by specific time frames - some as early as 30 days following passage of the act, but some as much as two years following passage. Up to .5% of the allocation can be used by the federal government to oversee the administration of the funds/projects. Also, in addition to the money for programs under the act, $208.5 million is designated for the Office of the Inspector General to provide oversight and auditing of the various programs funded. There is an additional $25 million amount to fund "Government Accountability Office—Salaries and Expenses" for oversight activities relating to the Act.
There is a prohibition on the use of the funds. They cannot be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool.
There are transparency requirements which mandate that all information relating to the funds be published on a recovery.gov website, including any reviews by the Inspector General about the usage of the funds, the bimonthly reviews by the Comptroller General. Details about the website begin on page 20 of the linked Act.
In addition to these requirements, the Act creates a 7-member Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board. Of course, a board needs a staff, and the authority to hire and set the compensation for such staff is included. Details on the board can be found starting on page 16. And no board is complete without an advisory panel, so a 5-member "Independent Advisory Panel" is also created to make recommendation to prevent waste, fraud or abuse in the spending. They get travel expenses and per diem compensation. Finally, the board gets $14 million to perform the requirements set forth for it in the Act.
The Act incorporates whistleblower protections for anyone reporting inappropriate actions relating to spending by states and local governments with money from the bill.
The rest of the bill is all specific spending for various government departments. I'll be breaking that down in further posts, but in the mean time, you might want to read this Bloomberg article which says that much of the spending in the plan won't be until next year.