Devaney: Fraud Prevention Encourages Teamwork in Government Oversight

Jul 12, 2011, 07:00 ET from Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the first of a series of columns on the lessons he has learned as Chairman of the Recovery Board, Earl E. Devaney says the Board's fraud prevention program has encouraged federal investigators and agencies to work closely together.


"When fraud prevention is the common goal," he writes in his Chairman's Corner published on,  "you see remarkable teamwork'' between the Inspector General community and the managers of federal agencies.

He credited the operations of the Recovery Operations Center with generating the information needed to interrupt or prevent fraud in Recovery Act programs before the fraudster has absconded with the money.

"The ROC, as it's known within the Board, was designed with fraud prevention in mind. Our skilled analysts look for early warning signs of trouble, using software to search massive amounts of data for criminal convictions, lawsuits, tax liens, bankruptcies, risky financial deals and other telltale signs of problems. Once a problem with an award is identified, analysts perform an in-depth review and forward their report to the relevant Inspector General for additional inquiry," he wrote.

"Of course, there is more to preventive oversight than running through data sets all day long. Many audit and investigative eyes and ears, at the local, state and federal level, are following the Recovery money. Moreover, the Inspector General community has trained more than 130,000 people in the last two years in a concerted effort to step up oversight of the program," Devaney continued.

"The bottom line is this: Recipients of Recovery funds have submitted 261,000 award reports to the Board since October 1, 2009, detailing their spending of Recovery funds.  Of that number, only 1,493 awards, or about half a percent, are under investigation," he said.

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SOURCE Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board