Accountability and Transparency
The ARRA makes it very clear that every taxpayer dollar spent on our economic recovery will be subject to unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability. Five crucial objectives for ARRA funds include:
- Recovery funds are awarded and distributed in a prompt, fair, and reasonable manner.
- The recipients and uses of all recovery funds are transparent to the public, and that the public benefits of these funds are reported clearly, accurately, and in a timely manner.
- Recovery funds are used for authorized purposes and every step is taken to prevent instances of fraud, waste, error, and abuse.
- Projects funded under the recovery legislation avoid unnecessary delays and cost overruns.
- Programs meet specific goals and targets, and contribute to improved performance on broad economic indicators.
The ARRA also includes extensive provisions to ensure that states spend funds in ways that are consistent with its purposes. Requirements include:
- Certifications by governors or local officials that infrastructure expenditures have been fully reviewed and are an appropriate use of tax dollars.
- Public access to contract and grant information, including requests for proposals for competitive grant programs.
- Provisions for federal oversight, reviews, and audits coordinated by a Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board.
- Access by federal inspectors and the Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board to information needed to ensure accountability at the national level.
States receiving funds are required to report the following information to the federal government:
- How funds are being used.
- Descriptions and status reports on ARRA-related projects.
- Estimates of jobs saved or created by federal ARRA activities.
- Estimates of tax increases averted because of federal ARRA funds.