Policy Group Calls on Governor to Create Accountability Board to Oversee Federal Recovery Funds

(Oklahoma City, February 25, 2009): Oklahoma Policy Institute today called on Governor Brad Henry to promote transparency and public confidence in the expenditure of funds coming to Oklahoma as part of the federal economic stimulus bill by creating an Oklahoma Economic Recovery Accountability and Oversight Board.

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a huge and complicated bill that will have implications for virtually every agency of state and local government, as well as the people of Oklahoma. The public and policymakers alike have a lot of questions about what funds will be available to Oklahoma and where and how these dollars will be allocated,” said Matt Guillory, executive director, Oklahoma Policy Institute. “Creating an accountability and oversight board made up of key elected officials, agency directors, and non-governmental representatives will allow both valuable input on the front-end of the allocation of resources and ongoing transparency as to how money is being spent.”

Transparency and accountability are key principles in the economic recovery legislation itself. The bill creates a national Accountability and Transparency Board, establishes a public website, http://www.recovery.gov, and requires that all funding recipients submit quarterly reports providing detailed information on how contracts and grants are expended. The Governor of Colorado has already announced an Economic Recovery Accountability Board and launched a website to help ensure that his state spends funds effectively and transparently.

“Given our deteriorating fiscal situation and the urgency of mitigating the extent of budget cuts that could inflict real harm on our citizens and our economy, these funds present a powerful opportunity for Oklahoma,” said Guillory. “However, we must have confidence that funds are being spent efficiently and honestly to support vital services and programs, avert budget cuts, and promote the state’s infrastructure and economic development.”

OK Policy also released a new budget brief analyzing the multiple provisions of the economic recovery bill that provide new or increased funding to state and local governments. In total, the bill contains more than $2.6 billion in state and local grants for education, human services, health care, transportation, energy, law enforcement, and other purposes. The brief is availablehere.


Oklahoma Policy Insititute (OK Policy) advances equitable and fiscally responsible policies that expand opportunity for all Oklahomans through non-partisan research, analysis, and advocacy.

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