Hundreds of stimulus recipients haven't reported on money's whereabouts
Updated 10:34 a.m. ET
An anti-hunger nonprofit based in the District, Queen Anne's County in Maryland and a Virginia dredging company are among 389 recipients of federal stimulus dollars that have failed to report on the whereabouts of more than $55 million in economic stimulus funding, federal watchdogs said Thursday.
The total amounts to less than 2 percent of all stimulus recipients and a mere fraction of the roughly $200 billion so far awarded by the recovery program, but the federal Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board has committed to tracking down every last taxpayer dollar spent on the program.
"The two-time losers -- those who failed to file reports in the last quarter of 2009 and the earlier reporting period -- should really be embarrassed," Recovery Board Board Chairman Earl Devaney said in a statement. "They took millions of dollars and then thumbed their noses at taxpayers."
In the District, the anti-hunger nonprofit Share Our Strength received $87,283 from the Corporation for National and Community Service last May, according to the Recovery Board. Queen Anne's County received a Justice Department grant totaling $35,009 in July. Records indicate Virginia-based Veterans Couriers Inc. has failed to provide information on the $1.6 million contract it received in August from the Defense Department.
CNCS terminated the Share Our Strength grant because it failed to submit its reports, said group spokeswoman Margie Glennon. Share Our Strength did however receive $2,403 from the grant, she said.
"The issue here was that the recovery grant had additional reporting which we weren't familiar with, and we just failed to learn it quickly enough," Glennon said.
"We regret that, after having successfully implemented AmeriCorps programs for the last nine years, this breakdown occurred," she added.
Milton Hazzard, owner of Veterans Couriers, said Thursday evening that his company used the Pentagon contract to build a new roof for the D.C. Armory. But he said his company turned in quarterly spending reports in December and January. The first report was late after his employees struggled with the technical details of the complex reports, he said. Employees submitted the second report on time in January. Recovery Board records, however, indicate otherwise.
The nonpartisan Recovery Board serves as the stimulus enforcement office while the Obama administration -- normally in the form of Vice President Biden and other economic aides -- acts as stimulus spin doctor. Devaney's office posts stimulus spending reports on Recovery.gov after it receives the information from the Office of Management and Budget, which compiles and reviews the information each quarter. The board is also investigating dozens of waste, fraud and abuse allegations connected to stimulus dollars.
But Devaney's efforts lack teeth, because recipients who fail to submit spending reports do not face penalties. Congress failed to include punishments for non-reporters when it approved the stimulus program last year. Some federal agencies, however, may soon find a way to impose fines or other penalties, Devaney said.
Here's a look at stimulus recipients that have failed to report spending information from the District, Maryland and Virginia. Full information on non-reporters, as provided by the Recovery Board in pdf format, can be seen here.
Stimulus Recipients That Have Failed to Report Spending Data:
|Recipient Name||Award Amount||Agency Awarding the Funds||State|
|Share Our Strength Operation Frontline||$87,283||Corporation for National and Community Service||D.C.|
|Medix Inc.||$26,196||Education Dept.||Maryland|
|Volvo Road Machinery Inc.||$63,670||Veterans Affairs||MD|
|Queen Anne's County||$35,009||Justice Department||MD|
|Veterans Couriers Inc.||$1,696,701||Defense Department||VA|
|Town of LaCrosse||$105,065||Justice Department||VA|
|Center for Remote Sensing Inc.||$119,669||National Science Foundation||VA|
|National Safe Boating Council||$3,436||U.S. Army Corps of Engineers||VA|
|Norfolk Dredging Company||$136,200||U.S. Army Corps of Engineers||VA|
|WP Construction Service||$1,203||U.S. Army Corps of Engineers||VA|
|Centuria Corporation||$87,760||Agriculture Dept.||VA|
|Eyak Technologies||$656,000||Dept. of Homeland Security||VA|
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