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Federal Eye: New stimulus reports correct early errors

More than 131,000 progress reports on stimulus funding will be posted Friday on Recovery.gov, the government’s stimulus-tracking Web site. Much of the data will include corrections to the first version of reports filed by fund recipients earlier this month. Several early reports overstated the number of jobs created or saved through the stimulus program, according to an Associated Press investigation published Thursday.

But the mistakes come as no surprise to close observers of the stimulus and stimulus reporting process. White House officials and outside experts always anticipated mistakes in the early stimulus reports. Only fund recipients can correct their stimulus reports, but the onus is on the government agencies that distributed the funds to review the reports, catch any errors and request corrections. After Friday, any other corrections cannot be submitted for posting on Recovery.gov until the next reporting period starts in January.

Ed DeSeve, the White House point man on stimulus matters, called the AP investigation “misleading” because it reviewed “an initial upload of data representing just two percent of Recovery Act spending that was made publicly available before a full review of its accuracy could be done,” he said in a statement issued early Thursday morning. “Virtually all of the errors found by the AP had already been found by our review, and were already corrected in an update to be loaded onto Recovery.gov this week.”

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