It's Waste vs. Cost in the Transparency Debate

November 30, 2011

There are some technical steps officials could take to make reporting less burdensome for recipients of federal stimulus money, such as auto-filling more parts of the electronic spending form, reducing the number of data fields and adding auto-editing programs that spot common mistakes such as incorrect ZIP codes, government watchdogs said Wednesday.

Congress also could raise the floor on required reporting above its current level of $25,000 for most stimulus funds, inspectors general from various science-related agencies testified before members of a House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight.

There's a trade-off, however, said Energy Department Inspector General Gregory Friedman. Less burdensome reporting likely will come with higher levels of waste, fraud and abuse. 

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