Pryor: Stimulus Watchdog Reports 79 Cases of Possible Fraud

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today said that he is committed to going after people who waste taxpayer dollars through the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In response to a letter from Pryor last month, Chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board Earl Devaney said he has flagged 79 cases that raise significant concern and require further action. These cases have been referred to 19 Federal Inspectors General for a full investigation and possible administrative sanctions or prosecution.  The Recovery Board was established by Congress to spearhead cross-government efforts to fight waste, fraud, and abuse relating to the economic recovery bill passed nearly a year ago.

“The days of government waste and fraud have got to come to an end,” Pryor said.  “I’m going to hound the Recovery Board and each and every Inspector General to make sure they’re holding people accountable for spending taxpayers’ dollars,” Pryor said.

Pryor followed up to the new data by sending letters to the 19 Inspectors General to ensure the Board’s referrals are adequately investigated.  The letters request information about the status of the referred cases, Recovery Act waste they have uncovered independently, spending programs that show the greatest risk, and what additional improvements are needed to safeguard the Recovery Act funds.

 “Any large pot of government spending will attract people and companies wanting to rip off the taxpayer.  It happened in Katrina relief funding and in war-time contracting.  Stimulus funding is no different, except that this time we’re going to hold everyone’s feet to the fire,” Pryor said.