Working Together Pays Off
This is a story about a small amount of money but it’s one that illustrates why government works best when people pull together.
This past February, the hotline at the Office of Inspector General, Department of Education, received a complaint about the overpayment of Recovery Act funds to eight special education employees from a school district in the state of Washington. The complainant said that the school district discovered the overpayments and directed the employees to pay back the funds. The problem: The repayments were credited to the district’s general fund, not to the Recovery program.
Once alerted by the Education IG’s office, agency officials moved quickly to correct the situation. They notified Washington state education officials whose staff then conducted an on-site review of the district’s books. As it turned out, the hotline complainant was right on the money. In June, the district acknowledged an over claim from Recovery funds of a little more than $20,000. State and district officials agreed to remit the funds to the federal Education Department.
A little story, to be sure, but one that shows the government’s Recovery oversight program is working well. A hotline complaint was filed, federal education officials took swift action, and local and state officials helped solve the problem. Taxpayers benefit when government agencies at all levels work together. It’s that simple.
– Kathleen S. Tighe, Chair, Recovery Board, and Inspector General, Department of Education