Rigorous oversight has done an exceptional job of ferreting out fraud and abuse by recipients of funds from the $787 billion economic stimulus package, Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday.
Biden told a conference of several hundred government investigators, auditors, analysts and prosecutors that federal agencies have been effectively working together to make sure stimulus money and contracts are not being wasted.
"Not only are we creating jobs across the country, not only are we spurring growth," Biden said, "but we're doing it responsibly, accountably, and with a level of transparency never seen before."
Biden also said the government website http://www.recovery.gov has empowered citizens to find detailed information on stimulus-funded projects and report online if they think money in their community is being misspent on "rogue projects."
"We knew the American people would be some of our best watchdogs so we gave them tools they need to keep their eyes on the very things that we don't have enough (federal workers) in order to be able to do the job," he said.
He said that fears the stimulus package would become a massive boondoggle were justified, given the nation's long history of governmental waste of taxpayer dollars, but those fears have so far been unfounded in this case.
"I like to think of all we have done as building a well-lit house. Burglars tend not to burglarize the house on the block that's the most well-lit," he said. "We've kept this house exceptionally well-lit because of all of you."