Contractors miscount stimulus jobs, says SSA OIG

Firms had trouble applying OMB guidance

Eight out of nine contractors to the Social Security Administration miscalculated the number of jobs they created because of economic stimulus funds, according to an audit from the SSA Office of Inspector General.

Under the 2009 Recovery Act, recipients were to follow Office of Management and Budget guidance in estimating the economic impact of the projects, including the number of full-time jobs created. Fifteen contractors received stimulus law funding for projects involving the SSA, and the inspector general reviewed nine of those contractors’ reports.

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Overall, the nine contractors overestimated the number of jobs, saying they created 33 jobs over two years, but the number should have been 25, the audit said.

The nine contractors reported 23 jobs created in 2009, which the inspector general said should have been 14 jobs. In 2010, the contractors reported 10 jobs, which the inspector general said should have been 11 jobs.

“We determined eight of the nine contractors reported jobs created or retained in a manner inconsistent with OMB guidance,” concluded the July 28 report. “Contractors’ errors resulted from their misinterpretation of OMB guidance.”

The audit said the contractors made a "good faith" effort to follow the guidance; furthermore, the SSA's quality control reviews were not designed to catch the types of errors that were made. The contractors agreed with the inspector general's recalculations.

The nine contractors reviewed included AT&T; Hewlett-Packard; IBM Corp.; Nortel and Oracle USA Inc.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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