Okay, give the recovery.gov dunces a break. They say that the reported Stimulus dollars given to non-existing zip codes and “phantom” Congressional Districts were just “numbers transposed” and “clerical errors.” BUT as to what is being uncovered as continuous “errors”; is our government just acting like “Robin Hood” thieves?
The OLD DOMINION WATCHDOG.org reports:
January 5, 2010
Fake ZIP codes reported on stimulus Web site
UPDATE: Thirteen, not 14, reported ZIP codes don’t exist in Virginia.
Fourteen Virginia ZIP codes reported to receive $9.5 million in federal stimulus money can’t be found in the state.
Recovery.gov, the federal Web site that reports how the stimulus money is used, lists funding and jobs created by ZIP code. The data is taken from reports filed by the stimulus recipients.
Out of hundreds of ZIP codes listed for Virginia, seven don’t exist and seven are in other states.
Watchdog reporters found similar errors in other states.
The problem is akin to one reported by Old Dominion Watchdog in November when congressional districts that don’t exist were reported as receiving stimulus money.
Ed Pound, director of communications for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, at the time attributed the problem to an oversight by the fund recipients. He said it appeared that some of those filling out the reports just didn’t know their congressional districts, and therefore listed an inaccurate number.
A few days after reports about the “phantom” Congressional districts were published, Recovery.gov staff removed the inaccurate districts and listed all their funding under “unassigned congressional district.”
Let’s see if we can correlate this:
NEW MEXICO: Bill Richardson…..
Virginia: (Gov.) Tim Kaine…….just so happens to be a “red state” that went “blue” for the first time in years during 2008 elections.
With the quarterly American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) data slated to be released soon, the most recent data from recovery.gov still has flaws, including funding for West Virginia zip codes which do not exist.
$28 million in stimulus funding is listed as going to four unknown zip codes: 26661, 26551, 24913, and 2119. The recovery.gov website lists funding by zip code. West Virginia Watchdog compared these zip codes to W.Va. zip codes. The zip codes that didn’t match up were ran though the U.S. Postal Service’s Zip Code Lookup.
Three other zip codes included in West Virginia’s data were actually Virginia zip codes: 24503, Lynchburg; 23601, Newport News; and 23505, Norfolk. Combined these three cities received $212,249.
These mistakes comes on the heels of a story we broke back in Nov. 2008:
With the U.S. Census ready to begin, Congressional redistricting is right around the corner. However, it seems the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has already added eight new Congressional districts in West Virginia.
Over a billion dollars has come to West Virginia thanks to the Recovery Act. $2,387,321 of that total is going towards eight fictional Congressional districts: the 54th, 9th, 4th, 6th, 12th, 13th, and 00.
At that time Ed Pound, director of communications for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, blamed the flawed data on reporting errors. Those receiving stimulus funding report back to recovery.gov on what the funding is being used for and how many jobs are created/saved as a result.
“People make errors, and we’ve found people are making errors in these reports,” Pound said. “Our job is data integrity, not data quality.”
The nonexistant zip codes, combined with the phantom congressional district errors, put into doubt the success of ARRA. The Reason Foundation’s Anthony Randazzo says government data needs to be held to a higher standard or accuracy:
These “data errors” or “human errors” according to government keep piling up. And it is certainly understandable that people around the country could report false information. But shouldn’t the federal government and management of the Recovery.gov website be held accountable for verifying the information? Especially if the president is going to cite the data to try and gain political favor by using it to “prove” the stimulus has “worked.”
Obama disguised as “Robin Hood”? Deceit? Lies?
Will “Cornhusker deal” Ben Nelson have this problem in Nebraska?
Will Harry Reid and Nevada have this problem?