Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Another federal agency hindering stimulus oversight

When there is a reason to steal, guess what? Amtrak accused of hindering stimulus oversight - USATODAY.com: WASHINGTON — Amtrak managers have improperly interfered with oversight of the railroad's $1.3 billion in economic stimulus funding, according to an independent report by a former federal prosecutor. The report commissioned by Amtrak's former inspector general says the railroad's lawyers and financial managers interfered with the internal watchdog's ability to get stimulus-related documents and the $5 million Congress appropriated for stimulus oversight. Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm said in an e-mailed statement that the railroad "strongly disagrees" with the accusations of interference with the inspector general. Members of Congress from both parties have demanded answers from Amtrak about how the government-subsidized railroad is providing information to the watchdog office and why Inspector General Fred Weiderhold retired unexpectedly last month. The day he retired, Weiderhold gave Amtrak managers a report from former federal prosecutor Robert Meyer that says Amtrak officials have repeatedly and improperly interfered with the inspector general's work since 2007.

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