Skip to comments.DOE IG: 100+ stimulus-related criminal probes
Posted on 11/02/2011 9:15:54 AM PDT by Third Person
The Energy Department's inspector general has launched more than 100 criminal investigations related to 2009 economic stimulus spending.
In written testimony prepared for delivery to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today, Inspector General Gregory Friedman said the investigations have involved "various schemes, including the submission of false information, claims for unallowable or unauthorized expenses, and other improper uses of Recovery Act funds."
So far, the investigations have led to five criminal prosecutions and brought in "over $2.3 million in monetary recoveries," Friedman said.
"This includes a series of cases involving fictitious claims for travel per diem resulting in the recovery of $1 million alone in Recovery Act funds," he added.
The activity is partially due to the fact that few "shovel ready" projects existed in 2009, Feldman said. "The concept of 'shovel ready' projects became a Recovery Act symbol of expeditiously stimulating the economy and creating jobs. In reality, few actual 'shovel ready' projects existed," he said.
The stimulus funding DOE received more than $35 billion was greater than previous annual budgets for the entire agency, most notably its $27 billion in funding for fiscal 2011.
"Our reviews have identified a fairly consistent pattern of delays in the pace at which Recovery Act funds had been spent by grant and other financial assistance recipients," Friedman said.
He also offered a critical talking point for opponents of the DOE loan guarantee program, which is the subject of a White House-ordered independent review in light of the failure of solar manufacturer Solyndra after it received a $535 million loan guarantee in 2009.
"The Loan Guarantee Program had not [been] properly documented and as such could not always readily demonstrate how it resolved or mitigated relevant risks prior to granting loan guarantees," Friedman said.
Even programs that appeared the most straightforward, such as home weatherization, were mired in challenges at the federal, state and local levels.
"Weatherization work was often of poor quality. In a recent audit performed at the state level, nine of the 17 weatherized homes we visited failed inspections because of substandard workmanship, Friedman said.
Last month, the DOE IGs office reported that a third of the stimulus money the DOE doled out in energy efficiency and conservation block grants had gone unspent, as of March.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/67444.html#ixzz1cZ6U5HXW
But the billions in taxpayer money, that sure existed.
The best comedy writers in the country could not make this stuff up...
I forgot my sarcasm tag.
You can’t investigate the White House! Remember when Gerald Walpin got too close?