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GAO Asks for Help Tracking Stimulus Fraud

By Ed O'Keefe

The Government Accountability Office is asking Americans to join its effort to track potential waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement associated with stimulus funds by using its online FraudNet tool.

"The Recovery Act has set aside billions of dollars to create jobs, invest in infrastructure, and fund other measures to counter the current economic downturn. Experience tells us that the risk of fraud and abuse grows when large sums are spent quickly, eligibility requirements are being established or changed, and new programs created," Gene L. Dodaro, Acting Comptroller General and head of the GAO said in a statement.

While today's GAO solicitation is basically a reminder of its long-time FraudNet system, experts suggest citizen participation is crucial to the government's efforts to closely track the use of stimulus funding. GAO will need the help, since the government has mandated bimonthly reviews of how states and cities are using stimulus money.

The agency will track Washington, D.C. and 16 other states that account for 65 percent of the U.S. population and are expected to receive at least two-thirds of the stimulus funding: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. GAO will also release studies assessing how funding was used for small business lending, education, and trade adjustment assistance.

The watchdog agency accepts anonymous tips to FraudNet, but asks tipsters to provide as much specific information as possible. FraudNet was established as a toll-free telephone hotline in 1979, but it now also accepts tips online, by fax or regular mail.

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 30, 2009; 1:03 PM ET
Categories:  Oversight  
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pssst, hey buddy, cmere...i got a tip...check the receiving companies Executive paychecks...

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | March 30, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

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