The Stimulus Bill is big on accountability and action on this front seems to be moving quickly, maybe even quicker than action on implementation of the bill itself!
Last week, President Obama set the tone in a meeting with mayors:
So I want to be clear about this: We cannot tolerate business as usual — not in Washington, not in our state capitols, not in America’s cities and towns. We will use the new tools that the recovery act gives us to watch the taxpayers’ money with more rigor and transparency than ever. If a federal agency proposes a project that will waste that money, I will not hesitate to call them out on it and put a stop to it.
Today, President Obama is expected to send a similar message to governors in town for their annual meeting.
Also today, according to blogger Marc Ambinder, the President is expected to announce the appointment of Earl Devaney as chair of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (RAT Board). The Board, comprised of at least 10 agency inspectors general, will have a budget of $84 million. In addition, the inspectors general received an additional $233 million in increases in their budgets under the Stimulus Bill.
Devaney is the former inspector general of the Department of the Interior where he led the investigation to uncover the Jack Abramoff scandal. He had a long federal career “putting away bad guys.” In 2006, he talked to the Federal Times about his approach to measuring an IG’s effectiveness:
It’s unfortunate that over the years success has typically been measured in numbers. I think it’s a whole different world now. I think we should be able to articulate the value our audits and investigations have on changing behavior and the practice of the department in a way that makes it work better.”