If you got a share of the $840 billion in taxpayer money doled out through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, but have not been telling the government what you've been doing with it, you could be among the latest 303 entries on the U.S. government's "Wall of Shame."
Similar to anyone getting any government grant, organizations that get a piece of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) pie are required by law to report to the government every January, April, July, and October exactly how they are using your money. While most do, some do not, and they make the Wall of Shame.
Also See: The Truth About Government Grants
You can see exactly how the "good guys," the organizations that are not on the Wall of Shame, are using their ARRA funds on the Recovery.gov web site. Remember that all ARRA-funded projects are supposed to somehow create and save jobs, while spurring new economic activity.
According to Recovery.gov, 139 (46%) of the latest 303 Wall of Shame scofflaws are city and county law enforcement agencies that received ARRA grants from the Department of Justice. Some of these law enforcement agencies received grants under the federal COPS program, which promotes community policing efforts.
Big and small law enforcement agencies failed to report, including the City of Pittsburgh's police department, blaming technical problems for its failure to submit reports on its use of a $144,000 COPS grant for the last two reporting periods.
Overall, the 303 missing reports involve nearly $1.2 billion in Recovery Act funds.
Excuses, Excuses... Why didn't the infamous members of the Wall of Shame fail to report how they've been spending your Recovery Act money? According to Recovery.gov, most blamed technical and administrative issues, including lack of adequate personnel. But there were other, not-so-good excuses.
A New York company that had received a $43.1 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy finally revealed that it had missed the last two reporting periods because it had declared bankruptcy.
The Milwaukee County Transit System said it simply "forgot" to report on its use of a $25,682,975 grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The FTA said the grant would be cancelled unless the transit system regained its memory.
But taking the cake for lame excuses has to be the company that failed to report on its $4 million government contract because its officials were "out of the office."