Auditor: Stimulus tracking inadequate

Several Missouri government agencies failed to monitor their use of the 2009 federal stimulus dollars as well as they should have, state Auditor Tom Schweich said Thursday.

“We found problems with the reporting process in four departments,” Schweich said at a Capitol news conference. “They had not put in place adequate procedures to monitor compliance with ARRA,” the federal law authorizing the stimulus program.

“We don’t know, in many cases, whether the money was spent correctly or incorrectly, because the procedures aren’t in place to tell us that.”

He later added: “It’s more than (a case of) shoddy paperwork. When there’s inadequate documentation, you don’t know if there’s waste, fraud or abuse.”

Schweich’s comments came as he released the annual “Single Audit” of federal funds for the 2009-10 state business year that ended June 30.

It’s the first audit to include the federal stimulus money distributed to Missouri.

Schweich identified the four departments as Elementary and Secondary Education, Higher Education, Natural Resources and Social Services.

He said higher education officials didn’t know they were supposed to monitor their distribution of $134 million in stimulus money to 23 schools.

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