Skip to main content

Government website includes jobs created in non-existent districts

Job seekers line up at job fair
Job seekers line up at job fair
Photo;AP/Danny Johnston

Last spring, in response to public outcry about the size of the stimulus package and concerns that it would be difficult to track such a massive program, the Obama administration rolled out a website to facilitate the tracking process. Recovery.gov is a searchable database that Americans can access to track how stimulus money is spent, taking a step toward the transparency President Obama promised during his campaign. $18 million was spent to develop the website.

This week it was discovered that Recovery.gov includes many inaccuracies, most of which are listings of jobs created in Congressional districts that don’t exist. For example, it indicates that in Colorado, 14 jobs were created in district 7 at a cost of $33,195. The striking first thought is to wonder about jobs that pay an average of $2,371 per year, but that point is moot because there is no district 7 in Colorado.

The website also reflects that $10.1 million was spent in Colorado’s district 0, creating 0 jobs.

This erroneous reporting was not isolated to Colorado. District 15 in Arizona is reflected to have 30 jobs created to the tune of $761,420. Unfortunately there is no district 15 in Arizona. Similar situations exist in states across the country, including Maryland, Minnesota, Connecticut, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Iowa and several U.S. Territories.

Ed Pound is the Communications Director for the Recovery Board. "We report what the recipients submit to us," he told ABC News. He said the board receives reporting from the recipients of stimulus funds (including state governments, federal agencies and universities) about what programs are being funded.

"Some recipients clearly don't know what congressional district they live in, so they appear to be just throwing in any number. We expected all along that recipients would make mistakes on their congressional districts, on jobs numbers, on award amounts, and so on. Human beings make mistakes," Pound said.

It seems improbable that so many states would make the error of providing non-existent district numbers.  This is especially true because the 2010 Census currently underway is specifically related to Congressional districts.

In May of 2009, the Washington Post criticized Recovery.gov, stating, “three months after the bill was signed, Recovery.gov offers little beyond news releases, general breakdowns of spending, and acronym-laden spreadsheets and timelines." The same article also stated, "Unlike the government site, the privately run Recovery.org is actually providing detailed information about how the $787 billion in stimulus money is being spent.”

Do we really want the federal government managing our health care system, when a private company so outperforms them in something as simple as tracking job creation?

 

Comments

  • Skygizmo 5 years ago

    Good job of scaremongering. What does this have to do with governnment health care and why would you want to get rid of Medicare?

  • Joe V 5 years ago

    Lie's Lie's Lie's ...Sad!!!!

  • MC 5 years ago

    Joe...you can't even spell "lies" correctly so "bu-bye"

  • MC 5 years ago

    What scaremongering?! Since when it factchecking the government scaremongering? There's nothing "scary" even here, only stupidity and waste. This administration has done nothing but play number games from the start, even removing thousands of jobs from the list of those counted for unemployment. This is either the most incompetent presidency ever, or he's intentionally trying to Cloward and Piven our country. The problem is the people in the Matrix are waking up and not going to stand around while these people burn the constitution.

  • Don 5 years ago

    MC...You are so right! People are paying attention and are not going to forgive and forget if we have a health care bill shoved down our throats. I think that Obama is starting to realize that he is out of his league, which makes him even more dangerous. Once they realize that there is no chance he will be re-elected, his agenda will show its true radicalism.

  • Albert N. Milliron 5 years ago

    A quick look at recovery.gov shows that in SC each job saved or created cost nearly 400,000 dollars each. This is an example of how well the government runs things. For the naysayers, the AP is working on 7 states in detail, so far the numbers as so inaccurate that the definition of transparent government means we can see right through them. Now you ask what this has to do with healthcare?