Feds shame state and local stimulus recipients

According to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, recipients of 1,036 awards representing $583 million dollars in stimulus funds failed to submit reports for the quarter that ended December 31, 2009. And the Recovery Board is calling them out on it.

Recipients who made the first list of non-reporters ranged from state agencies, including departments of transportation and education, to city governments and private companies in all sectors of the economy. For the latest round, the Recovery Board identified “two-time losers” and created a .pdf file naming the over one thousand recipients who did not report their awards as mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

State-level agencies by and large were able to remove themselves from the original list of over 4,350, although private sector recipients and local governments remained a large part of the $583 million in undocumented receipts.

Some of them included:

  • An asphalt paving and excavation company from Arkansas, who failed to report an award for $2.2 million
  • Del Norte Clinics, Inc. of California who received over $3 million in June of 2009
  • Louisiana’s Weeks Marine, Inc. won nearly $3.5 million yet failed to report it to the government
  • $1.2 million went to the Lebanon, Missouri Police Department and was not reported

“The two-time losers—those who failed to file reports in the last quarter of 2009 and the earlier reporting period—should really be embarrassed,’’ said Earl E. Devaney, the Chairman of the Recovery board. “They took millions of dollars and then thumbed their noses at taxpayers.”

Devaney noted that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 does not assess penalties for recipients who fail to report. He has previously testified before Congress in support of establishing penalties in the law, stemming largely from federal agencies who could use their administrative powers to punish violators.

“Federal agencies now need to take whatever administrative action they can against those who flout the law so cavalierly,” Devaney said, “ including recovering money that the recipients have not yet spent.”

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