Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency

April 06, 2010 | 14:46 | Public Domain

Vice President Joe Biden announces even stricter requirements for accountability and transparency in how Recovery Act funds are spent.

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Vice President Biden Announces Release of Presidential Memorandum Tightening Enforcement of Recovery Act Recipient Reporting

WASHINGTON D.C. – Vice President Joe Biden and Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board Chairman Earl Devaney announced today the release of a Presidential Memorandum directing agencies to further intensify their efforts to improve reporting compliance by recipients of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.  The Recovery Act requires recipients of funds to submit quarterly reports on how they are putting the funds to work.  In the most recent quarter, the vast majority of recipients complied with the law, submitting spending reports on 65,429 Recovery awards.  At the same time, however, recipients failed to file 1,036 reports.  The Presidential Memorandum directs agencies to improve accountability for enforcing compliance with reporting requirements by reporting the identities of noncompliant recipients of Recovery Act funding.  A copy of this Presidential Memorandum is attached.

“After more than a year implementing the Recovery Act, I can proudly say that we’re not only creating jobs across the country, but doing so responsibly and with a level of transparency never before seen in this town,” Vice President Biden said. “This Presidential Memorandum will continue to make sure that every dollar is accounted for and every official is held accountable.”

“I have been a strong advocate of compliance measures that would encourage recipients of Recovery funds to submit their spending reports to the Recovery Board, as required by the Recovery Act,” Recovery Board Chairman Devaney said. “The President’s decision to issue a memorandum to the senior officials of executive departments and agencies will go a long way toward helping the Board achieve our goal of 100 percent compliance.”

As the current recipient reporting period began on April 1st, the President issued a memorandum directing agencies to be aggressive in going after recipients who do not report.  This Memorandum strongly reinforces the Administration’s emphasis on accountability and requires agencies to intensify their efforts by, wherever authorized and appropriate, terminating awards, reclaiming misused funds or pursuing suspension and disbarment of non-reporting grant recipients and contractors.

The independent Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with two goals.  First, to provide transparency in relation to the use of Recovery-related funds. And second, to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and mismanagement.  The Board maintains a “Recovery Operations Center” (ROC) designed to identify and combat potential fraudulent activities.  Earl E. Devaney was appointed by President Obama to serve as chairman of the Recovery Board.  Twelve Inspectors General from various federal agencies serve with Chairman Devaney.

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