City Attorney Dennis Herrera has announced a stimulus spending taskforce, which he says will aim, " to coordinate legal compliance and guarantee maximum transparency, efficiency and accountability for city investments made possible by the federal government's recently enacted $787 billion economic stimulus package."
"Our paramount duty is to ensure that this unprecedented level of federal funding is invested honestly and in ways that deliver real value to our communities and our children -- we will not tolerate waste, fraud or abuse," Herrera said in a press release.
"When President Obama signed the recovery and stimulus package into law, he challenged all of us in public life to prove to the American people that their trust in government is not misplaced,” Herrera said.
The task force has a five-part mission, according to Herrera: to guarantee full public transparency for project planning, bidding and expenditures; assure stringent oversight and accountability over project expenditures, management and deliverables; fast-track processes to the greatest extent possible for contractors seeking to meet local and state requirements; coordinate citywide compliance in meeting federal application and auditing requirements; and thoroughly investigate and aggressively pursue waste, fraud or abuse, whether by public employees or private contractors.
Deputy City Attorney Robert Maerz, who leads Herrera's airport team, will chair Herrera's task force. Maerz is joined by Deputy City Attorney Sheryl Bregman, who serves on Herrera's construction team, Deputy City Attorney Ronald Flynn, who serves on Herrera's complex and special litigation team, Deputy City Attorney Andrew Shen, who serves on Herrera's ethics team, Policy and Grants Manager Cynthia Caporizzo, who serves on Herrera's children and family services team, and Assistant Chief Investigator George Cothran, who serves on Herrera's
Herrera notes that San Francisco has identified more than $2 billion in federal funding requests for local investments that include airport infrastructure and security upgrades, Muni service improvements, high-speed rail, creating green jobs, cost-saving medical records technology, and expanding broadband Internet access to underserved communities.
Now, if only the CIty's website, which the Department of Technology is constructing to track the money, were ready, we'd be able to get on with tracking just who is being stimulated by all this stimpack dinero.