Concerns about the accuracy of the data is not a “side issue.” The issue is accountability.
In his opening statement before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing, Chairman Edolphus Towns said:
I am gravely concerned that the unemployment rate is now 10.2 percent – the highest in 26 years. It is even higher for African Americans and Hispanic Americans. For people who have lost their jobs, it is not very comforting to say we are making progress.
The truth of the matter is that while recipient reports provided for an unprecedented level of transparency, we must be able to rely on the reported data. At this point it is clear that errors found by GAO and others should be corrected immediately, not months later, no matter how difficult. Recipient reporting should be subject to strict quality control.
The American taxpayer expects reporting to be done, and done well. And $787 Billion weighing in the balance is certainly far from pocket change.
Those errors include:
- 3,978 reports that showed no dollar amount received or expended but included more than 50,000 jobs created or retained, and
- 9,247 reports that showed no jobs but included expended amounts approaching $1 billion.
The 50,000 jobs represent nearly 10 percent of the 640,329 jobs posted to Recovery.gov.
Just think how many jobs would have been created if a fraction of the $1 billion had been awarded to minority business owners with a track record of “making a way out of no way.”
So the question remains: How many jobs have been created?