Monday, February 23, 2009

Watchdog for the Stimulus Package

Obama to name stimulus watchdog

President Obama
will announce while meeting with the nation’s governors Monday that he is naming one of the government's most aggressive, experienced government investigator to oversee spending of the stimulus package, administration officials said.

The White House's Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board will be headed by Earl E. Devaney, a former fraud investigator and white-collar crime investigator for the Secret Service who is currently inspector general of the Interior Department.

A dozen investigators and analysts working for Devaney helped build a case against former lobbyist Jack Abramoff for corrupt dealings with Indian tribes. A New York Times editorial last fall heralded Devaney as “The Busiest Gumshoe Inside the Federal Bureaucracy.”

An administration official said: “The President has asked the vice president, Joe Biden, to oversee the Administration’s implementation of the Recovery Act’s provisions – meeting regularly with key members of the Cabinet, Governors and Mayors to make sure their efforts are speedy and effective. He will make regular reports to the President that will be posted on”

Obama had previously announced his plans for the board.

The president is naming Devaney on the same day that he holds a Fiscal Responsibility Summit at the White House, designed to send the message that he will be vigilant about government spending despite the record-setting stimulus.

Devaney became the Interior Department’s inspector general in August 1999. From his official bio:

“Mr. Devaney began his law enforcement career in 1968 as a police officer in his native state of Massachusetts. After graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in 1970 with a degree in Government, Mr. Devaney became a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service. At the time of his retirement from the Secret Service in 1991, Mr. Devaney was serving as the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Fraud Division and had become an internationally recognized white collar crime expert regularly sought by major media including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and CNN.

“During his tenure with the Secret Service, Mr. Devaney was the recipient of five U.S. Department of Treasury Special Achievement Awards and numerous honors and awards from a wide variety of professional organizations. Upon leaving the Secret Service, Mr. Devaney became the Director of Criminal Enforcement for the U.S. Environment Protection Agency. In this position, Mr. Devaney oversaw all of EPA's criminal investigators and assumed management responsibility for EPA's Forensics Service Center and the National Enforcement Training Institute.”

I don't know about you, but wow do I feel better now. We're hiring more people (stimulating the economy no doubt) to create a board. Of course this board will disband when the stimulus spending is over, right? It's just gonna be this board, Jeffro. Oh, but the brave investigators are going to need, oh, maybe a secretary or fifteen. Just at first. Gonna need office space. Someone to procure all the stuff, repair, keep it clean and so on. And, you can't have such august personalities actually digging through files and whatnot. We're gonna need, oh, maybe a small army of actual investigative types. Oh yeah, we'll need interns, too. Gotta train for the future. Gonna have to procure transportation and drivers, maybe a plane or three on call - yeah, that would be good. Of course when all the stimulizing effects have reached their zenith and there is no need for all of this fine organization to exist anymore, well, they are committed government employees who have dedicated their lives to doing such a good job, well, it would sure be a shame to let them all go. So, we'll have to keep them around, doncha know, and find something else for them to watch over. After all, it's already paid for (well, maybe someday, a hundred years from now, but lets not let those kind of details ruin the moment), up and running and hey, the beaurocracy needs something to do.

So, hey, we've got a whole new investigative arm of the .gov! I know I feel sooo relieved, don't you? That's some hope and change for you!


Anonymous said...

Whoever it will be, I sure do hope Obama picks a good and honest one. I believe in him and I trust that he's gonna pick someone who will indeed oversee the stimulus spending honestly.

Earl said...

Since the money, from Bush, and some of that from Obama, has been flowing already - do you think that the Justice Department, the Treasury Department, the Commerce Department and the Congress of the United States, in conjunction with the FBI, ATF, Securities Commission, Coast Guard and DEA can hold their watchful eyes on the prize until the new better than they ever could be guy gets on board? Maybe put everyone under Homeland Security so we all know what is going on? I once wrote a small management memo, a man can only directly affect ten others - after that those ten others can only directly affect ten others and be effective, and they get to affect ten more... maybe Obama's reach is going to go far beyond his ten, but they are going to be key. I am so glad I am not one of them.