State Auditor Tom Schweich says one of the objectives he’s set for his office is to keep track of the federal stimulus money coming through Missouri.
It won’t be one overarching audit of federal stimulus money, but a bunch of tiny ones.
“What I’m going to do is, any audit report we issue where the entity being audited has stimulus money, we will report on how it’s being spent. We have a broad set of requirements, particularly for all agencies and commissions, so we’re gonna be covering the vast majority of the stimulus money just as a section of our existing audits. We’re not going to release a special stimulus audit,” Schweich said.
Schweich says federal stimulus money has made its way to hundreds of entities in the state, and many of them will start spending it soon.
“Right now you have a situation where the money is appropriated. It goes from the federal government either to the Governor or directly to an entity by the way of a grant and that entity obligated the money. We’re in the stage now where all of the money has been transferred, and most has been obligated but very little has actually been spent. So what we’ll be looking at is how are they spending it and is it achieving its intended purpose and is it being spent well in creating some sort of benefit for the taxpayers of Missouri?” Schweich said.
He says if an audit was to turn up instances of fraud with the use of these federal dollars, state or even federal courts may have to get involved.