Gov. orders transparency on stimulus money

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
MARK SANFORD, GOVERNOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:        Joel Sawyer
       803-734-2100
       jsawyer@gov.sc.gov

Governor Sanford Announces Stimulus Transparency Group
COMPTROLLER GENERAL ECKSTROM TO CHAIR GROUP
OVERSEEING STIMULUS IMPLEMENTATION

Columbia, S.C. – March 12, 2009 – Governor Mark Sanford today announced a new task force charged with overseeing the expenditure of stimulus money in South Carolina.

The group, to be chaired by Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, will be established by Executive Order and comprised of agency heads whose departments are affected by stimulus dollars. The group will be charged with protecting taxpayers by making sure stimulus dollars are spent in a transparent and accountable fashion. In addition, the group will coordinate spending across agencies to minimize duplication, and will work to implement best practices by other states on that front. Comptroller General Eckstrom will be setting up a Web site so citizens can track how the stimulus funds are spent.

“We’ve been clear that this stimulus package is a mistake for a host of reasons, but the reality is that the vast majority of these funds are programmatic in nature and are coming to our state whether we like it or not,” Gov. Sanford said. “That being the case, we think it makes sense for taxpayers to be able to see exactly how these dollars are being spent, and I want to thank the Comptroller for taking on this task.”

The Comptroller General has joined the governor in leading on transparency issues in the past, working with the Governor’s Office to put all state spending information online last year for the first time ever.

“Taxpayers will be paying an extremely high price for this massive government spending program,” Eckstrom said. “We’re putting processes in place in South Carolina to inform taxpayers how this money is being spent once it arrives. Our most important task is to establish strong controls to prevent wasteful or corrupt use of the billions of dollars earmarked for SC.

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