San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced the appointment of a Stimulus Spending Task Force. That sounds like a good thing in these harried times, right?
DH declares he will not abide any federal stimulus “waste, fraud or abuse.”
Herrera Task Force to Maximize Efficiency, Accountability in S.F. Stimulus Spending. City Attorney’s Central Role Enables Office to Streamline, Scrutinize Federal Monies “Without Needing to Invent Costly New Bureaucracy”
City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced the appointment of the City Attorney’s Stimulus Spending Task Force to coordinate legal compliance by City departments, and guarantee maximum transparency, efficiency and accountability for City investments made possible by the federal government’s recently enacted $787 billion economic stimulus package.
Herrera’s Task Force combines expertise and experience in a range of contracting issues from within the City Attorney’s Office, centralizing relevant practice areas and capabilities that include: contracts and grants; Sunshine and open government; construction and public works; land use and environment; federal funds compliance; and fraud investigations and litigation. Herrera has charged the task force with scrutinizing the entire lifecycle of projects funded by federal stimulus monies — from grant applications, through federal audit processes, to final deliverables.
“Our paramount duty is to ensure that this unprecedented level of federal funding is invested honestly and in ways that deliver real value to our communities and our children — we will not tolerate waste, fraud or abuse,” Herrera said. “When President Obama signed the recovery and stimulus package into law, he challenged all of us in public life to prove to the American people that their trust in government is not misplaced. Because of the central role my office already plays as legal counsel to all City departments, we are uniquely positioned to coordinate, streamline, and scrutinize San Francisco’s citywide efforts — without needing to invent costly new bureaucracy. I am very confident that the dedicated public servants I have appointed to the City Attorney’s Stimulus Spending Task Force are well matched to the challenges of this important endeavor.”
Herrera has charged the task force with a five-part mission: (1) to guarantee full public transparency for project planning, bidding and expenditures; (2) to assure stringent oversight and accountability over project expenditures, management and deliverables; (3) to fast-track processes to the greatest extent possible for contractors seeking to meet local and state requirements; (4) to coordinate citywide compliance in meeting federal application and auditing requirements; (5) to thoroughly investigate and aggressively pursue waste, fraud or abuse, whether by public employees or private contractors.
San Francisco has identified more than $2 billion in federal funding requests for local investments that include airport infrastructure and security upgrades, Muni service improvements, high-speed rail, creating green jobs, cost-saving medical records technology, and expanding broadband Internet access to underserved communities. In signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, President Obama identified unprecedented safeguards in how federal recovery dollars would be awarded, distributed and scrutinized. The President made clear that every taxpayer dollar spent on economic recovery is subject to stringent transparency and accountability standards.
Meet the team, after the jump