Senate Democrats

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Ensures Accountability and Transparency

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides unprecedented oversight, accountability, and transparency to ensure that taxpayer dollars are invested effectively, efficiently, and as quickly as possible.

We understand that every dollar being invested in this plan belongs to American taxpayers. They deserve assurances that their money is invested wisely. As a result, the legislation contains measures to provide unprecedented accountability, oversight, and transparency. Americans will see not only how their money is being spent, but also the results of their investments.

Effectiveness

Funds are distributed whenever possible through existing formulas and programs that have proven track records and accountability measures already in place.

Numerous provisions in the legislation provide for expedited but effective obligation of funds so that dollars are invested in the economy as quickly as possible.

Accountability

New reporting requirements have been mandated to ensure greater accountability for the expenditures.

Federal agencies are required to include expenditure plans prior to obligating certain funds made available through this legislation.

State and local officials must certify that the spending is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds.

State and local whistleblowers who report fraud and abuse are protected.

Recipients of funds must report on the use of the recovery funds they received and the number of jobs created or saved with the funds. Federal agencies will make this information available online and the White House Council of Economic Advisers will prepare a report detailing the impact of recovery funds on jobs and economic growth.

Oversight

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Inspectors General in the agencies are provided additional funding to audit and investigate recovery spending.

A new Executive Branch Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board will coordinate and conduct oversight of recovery spending and provide early warning of problems.

Transparency

A special website will post information about recovery spending, including grants, contracts, and all oversight activities. It should also be noted that there are no earmarks in this bill.

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