The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Feds to Keep an Eye on Illinois's Stimulus Spending

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 10, 2009 5:45PM

Photo by Nick Suydam
The Government Accountability Office named Illinois as one of 16 states where the federal government will conduct on-site reviews and targeted investigations of of spending drawn from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. “Experience tells us that the risk for fraud and abuse grows when billions of dollars are going out quickly, eligibility requirements are being established or changed, and new programs are being created,” said Gene Dodaro, acting U.S. comptroller general. “Illinois is an obvious target for federal scrutiny and attention, whether it’s prior to contracts being let or auditing them afterwards,” he said. “Illinois has had numerous projects called into question, for both how contractors were selected and the condition of finished projects.”

The GAO chose Illinois, along with Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas for extra scrutiny. Those states represent 65% of the national population. States were picked based on projected stimulus outlays, population, and unemployment, among other factors. Based on the state’s history of rampant corruption and wasteful spending size, Illinois Auditor General William Holland told Crain's, it was no surprise that it was chosen for GAO scrutiny. The state is expected to get over $22 billion in stimulus-related spending and tax cuts.