In November 2008, the Governor formed a construction procurement efficiency task force and other task forces to examine current statutes and regulations so that if an economic stimulus bill was enacted, the state would be ready to act to meet requirements for receiving funds. The Inspector General participated on several task forces to develop a number of proposals to refine certain procedures without compromising the integrity of an accountable, fair, and transparent process. Working closely with many state entities, the task force accumulated a package of suggested legislative initiatives and recommendations that resulted in the state's timely application to the federal government for federal economic stimulus funds.
The federal government fully expects compliance with ARRA's accountability and transparency standards. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Office of Management and Budget and the newly established Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board are the primary oversight agencies to whom funding recipients report. Federal Inspector General Offices also have a major role in overseeing the spending of ARRA money.
The Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General's broad mandate and experience in preventing and detecting fraud, waste and abuse in government spending will be the basis of ARRA-related initiatives. The Office views the ability to assist fund recipients with preventing fraud, waste and abuse, recording of transactions and events, helping to ensure compliance with ARRA program requirements, assisting with the establishment of performance measures and indicators, and documenting of transactions as crucial to transparency and satisfying ARRA reporting requirements. The Office specifically plans to conduct risk assessments, perform control activities, communicate with federal, state and local officials and monitor the use of ARRA funds. Routinely, the Office will report results of activities.
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