GAO report says $4.2 billion in stimulus money handed out to applicants for “reasons other than merit”.

Posted by on September 26, 2014
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From the Washington Examiner, 25 September 2014

By: Sarah Westwood

“A report from the Government Accountability Office said $4.2 billion set aside for transportation project grants since the 2009 economic stimulus program has been awarded to hundreds of applicants for “reasons other than merit.”

Low-ranked projects beat out those with higher ratings for half of all grants issued through the program, which was meant to hand out grants competitively, the report said.

The government officials who selected lower-ranked projects could not provide documentation as to why they did so. There have been 271 grants under the program since 2009.

Previous reports have warned of the grant program’s continuing contract issues, drawing the attention of Congress.

A May audit revealed that, while the Transportation Department used an evaluation system to rank potential projects before selecting which to fund, officials went back and inexplicably raised the ratings on 19 projects.”

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