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Earl Devaney's Recommended Reading

By Ed O'Keefe

Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board, photographed at the White House on Feb. 23, 2009. (AP Photo by Charles Dharapak)

Earl Devaney has a bookmark for reporters:

"My vision here is that every reporter in America will wake up and click on this site and be looking for problems. They've already started, by the way," he told city and county officials yesterday during a meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board (RAT), is expected to give similar testimony today to a House committee seeking to learn how federal and state auditors will track stimulus funding.

The new Web site, currently run by the Office of Management and Budget, is averaging more than 3,000 hits per second, according to OMB director Peter Orszag, and should be transferred to Devaney's control in 35 to 40 days he said, according to a pool report of his comments.

Following similar meetings with state officials last week, Devaney said he's looking to how local, state and federal inspectors general handled Hurricane Katrina relief funding as a model for how to best coordinate accountability at all levels of government.

He also said he's pushing for a Justice Department task force "that's assigned to do nothing but work with these recovery funds." He reminded officials -- as he did last week -- that some level of corruption and mismanagement of stimulus funds is likely.

The former Interior Department inspector general said he's still working out of his office at the department, since he still has no new office space, nor telephone lines. And Devaney urged his colleagues in the auditing community to work to prevent fraud before or as it happens, rather than catching perpetrators after the fact.

"This is crime prevention, not crime detection," he said.

Devaney's comments came Wednesday during a White House-sponsored conference for city and county officials, intended to instruct them on how to spend and control the billions of dollars from the stimulus package they may soon receive.

The Eye is on Twitter! | Track Obama Nominees on Head Count

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 19, 2009; 6:10 AM ET
Categories:  Oversight  
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