Stimulus Task Force has much work ahead

The state’s task force to oversee $2.8 billion in federal stimulus money held its first meeting this week.Task force chair, state Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom says, to begin, the group of 18 state agency heads had to get organized. Members formed working groups for five areas: accounting, audit/verification, reporting, guidance and web management.
Eckstrom says it’s important “that we identify the money and follow it closely to make sure that this money that we weren’t expecting to get, this money that’s really getting thrown at us, is followed and monitored closely and that the spending is controlled so that there is no waste at all.”
The South Carolina Stimulus Oversight, Accountability and Coordination Task Force, was actually mandated in stimulus regulation…and created by executive order of the governor. The comptroller general says that with this responsibility —- comes great risk.
“Our reputation are at risk with this money,” says Eckstrom, “and it’s my goal to make sure our reputations don’t get tarnished. The best way to do that is to put the recipients on notice on the front end that this money will be tightly controlled.”
He plans for the task force to become the state’s clearing house for stimulus information so that all of the reporting that is called for by regulation can be consolidated and rolled in together.
“Because it falls on us, this task force, to report this information for the state back to the federal government, once a quarter.” says Eckstrom