You might recall a long time ago,last year, I went to Washington to lobby our Colorado Congressional delegation to put additional audit staff at state and local levels to make sure auditors could monitor the stimulus monies properly. Regrettably no moneys were added for audit staff to monitor the stimulus moneys. So local land state auditors and recipient agencies dealing with millions in stimulus dollars have the increased burden to monitor those funds with the same amount of staff before ARRA funds. Now the cows are out of the barn.
Now an inspector general report on the Recovery Act notes that job shortages in federal sectors present problems.
Here are some examples:
Energy department officials pulled staff from other areas to deal with recovery grants but they "lacked financial experience and failed to get key information from grant seekers." USA Today, September 8, 2010. The result for Energy was even more delays.
FEMA has experienced grant delays and decreased oversight due to lack of knowledgeable staff to review it.
Energy complained the money was flowing to their agency and no one was there to manage it.
This is just as I predicted. And I am very proud of John Carlson and our whole Audit Staff for their participation in the recent Mountain and Plains Audit Forum Conference on Auditing Simulus Moneys. I was honored to co-chair the event. Over 120 attended the conference and we all learned lots about the risks to federal stimulus dollars mentioned above. In Denver we are trying to alert departments in our city receiving stimulus moneys of potential risks and internal control issues. Hope you heard me on Colorado Public Radio talking about it. We have issued several audit alerts related to the city's handling of stimulus grants.