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IG Report Confirms: Recovery Act ‘Propaganda’ Signs Were Required (PJM Exclusive)

The Department of Transportation did require the signs on stimulus projects ... at least until Rep. Darrell Issa and PJM pointed it out.

by
Patrick Richardson

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August 25, 2010 - 12:01 am
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The final reports from the inspectors general on the stimulus road signs have been turned into Congressman Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) office.

In late June, Issa requested an accounting from the various federal agencies involved in the stimulus on the bill’s requirements for signage. The signs, which tell passersby a project is being paid for by stimulus funds, have cost taxpayers as much as $10,000 in some cases. Issa and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) have publicly stated that the signs violate anti-propaganda laws which date to the 1950s.

Issa called the signs politically motivated and wasteful, despite relaxed requirements from various agencies, including the Department of Transportation:

Despite eliminating requirements to post signs, Department of Transportation agencies are still improperly focused on pushing projects to display signs crediting President Obama and the so-called “stimulus” for earmarked funding handouts. The administration’s obsession with using taxpayer money to get political credit for projects adds unnecessary expenses and bureaucracy to a spending package that’s failing to spur promised job creation in the private sector.

Earlier this month, PJM reported that the inspector general investigating the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s requirements on the stimulus signage found they did not require the signs, but stated they were “highly recommended.”

PJM has now obtained the reports from the inspectors general investigating both the Department of Commerce and the Department of Transportation. The Department of Commerce did require the use of the signs, according to the IG report:

Recovery Act Standard Terms and Conditions Section B.2, page 3, requires all Recovery Act funded projects to display the Recovery Act sign throughout the construction phase. The agency awarding funds will provide additional instructions regarding specifications.

The Economic Development Administration, which is part of Commerce, did not require the signage specifically, but did require all recipients of federal funds to “construct and maintain a sign indicating federal involvement in the construction project.”

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