In April 2009, Susan Montee was the first state official to track the daily receipt and spending of federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, a.k.a. stimulus) funds in Missouri. She displayed the information on-line on her official state web site for easy access to all Missouri citizens to ensure transparency in federal stimulus dollars. This information was tracked and updated daily.
Auditing federal stimulus funds: Because an audit is, by definition, a review of spending that has already occurred, the first opportunity to audit the spending of federal stimulus dollars received by Missouri state agencies in 2009 was in 2010, which was the last year of Susan’s term as state auditor. In March 2010, Susan issued Report No. 2010-30 that contained several audit findings related to state agency spending of federal stimulus dollars. http://auditor.mo.gov/press/2010-30.htm.
But even prior to 2010, Susan prepared for the upcoming audits of stimulus funds by opting to participate in a voluntary pilot project established by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to aid in the early detection of significant deficiencies and material weaknesses in internal controls for state programs using federal stimulus funds. Susan determined the auditor’s office would participate in the 2009 Single Audit Internal Control Project for ARRA programs (Report 2010-30, page 6).
Report 2010-30 contains many audit findings related to the spending of federal stimulus funds by Missouri state agencies. Federal spending of ARRA dollars are identified in the report with the prefix “ARRA” in the name of the federal program (Report 2010-30, page 29). As stated on page 33 of Report 2010-30, “The following programs were audited as major programs”. Those ARRA programs listed on pages 33 – 35 of the report include:
ARRA-Emergency Food Assistance Program
ARRA-Employment Service/Wagner-Peyser Funded Activities
ARRA-Workforce Investment Act-Adult Program
ARRA-Workforce Investment Act-Youth Activities
ARRA-Workforce Investment Act-Dislocated Workers
ARRA-Highway Planning and Construction
ARRA-Formula Grants for Other Than Urbanized Areas
ARRA-Weatherization Assistance for Low-Income Persons
ARRA-Rehabilitation Services-Vocational Rehabilitation Grants to States, Recovery Act
ARRA-Aging Home-Delivered Nutrition Services for States
ARRA-Aging Congregate Nutrition Services for States
ARRA-Child Support Enforcement
ARRA-Medical Assistance Program
As a result of auditing the several state programs receiving stimulus funds listed above, the federal government was notified of audit findings related to the spending of stimulus funds for the following programs:
ARRA-Unemployment Insurance (pages 37-38)
ARRA-Weatherization Assistance for Low-Income Persons (pages 40-44)
ARRA-State Administrative Matching Grants for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (page 55)
ARRA-Child Support Enforcement (pages 55,56,68,69)
ARRA-Adoption Assistance (pages 55,57,61)
ARRA-Medical Assistance Program (pages 55,57,70)
ARRA-Emergency Food Assistance Program (Food Commodities) (page 56)
ARRA-Foster Care Title IV-E (page 57)
As a CPA, Susan personally participated in the auditing processes of federal stimulus funds in Missouri, along with a staff of career staff auditors dedicated to focus specifically on the tracking, spending, and auditing of federal stimulus dollars by Missouri state agencies.
And contrary to Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, Susan performed these duties of her office without spending or seeking to spend federal stimulus dollars. Peter Kinder, on the other hand, spent and requested to spend the very stimulus dollars that he’s criticized others for spending.
In Fiscal Year 2010, Kinder spent $300,000 in federal stimulus funds (Lt. Gov. Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request, http://oa.mo.gov/bp/budreqs2011all.htm, page 8, “Federal Budget Stabilization Fund Replacement”; Block 3: “This additional general revenue is needed to replace $300,000 one-time Federal Budget Stabilization Funds that were used for ongoing programs in the FY2010 budget.”).
And his Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request for the Office of the Lt. Gov. included a request for another $300,000 in federal stimulus funds for his office (Lt. Gov. Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Request, http://oa.mo.gov/bp/budreqs2011all.htm, page 6, “Veterans Remebrance Core”; Block 1: FY2011 Budget Request, Total Federal Funds $300,000).