Thursday, July 09, 2009

GAO: Auditing for stimulus tax dollars is a joke

Link

Translation: In the GAO’s opinion, the system for making sure that stimulus dollars are spent properly simply isn’t up to snuff. The report goes on to note that state auditors — whose job is to make sure that public dollars are appropriately spent don’t have the funding to exercise their own responsibilities under the stimulus bill, something that ProPublica wrote about back in May. (We’ve called the GAO for more details on its concerns, and we’ll update the piece as soon as it responds.)

The GAO reported that “significant questions have been raised about the reliability of the data on www.USAspending.gov,” which is mandated by law to track financial information about who gets federal funds. The GAO points out that because the numbers on the site come from those receiving funds, the quality of their data can’t easily be verified. (Of course, as ProPublica has reported before, verifying numbers associated with the stimulus package is never easy.)