Issa, Collins Call on Inspectors General to Investigate ACORN Spending and Management of Federal Dollars

Published: Sep 24, 2009

WASHINGTON. D.C. – Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs Susan Collins (R-Maine) and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) have sent letters to the Inspectors General (IG) for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of the Treasury, the Elections Assistance Commission, the Department of Labor and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) calling on them to “review grants, contracts, entitlements and other forms of assistance to ACORN and its affiliates.”

“As long as taxpayers are subsidizing ACORN and its affiliates, we need to use every measure possible to ensure that those dollars are being spent and managed appropriately,” Issa said.  “The way in which ACORN and its affiliates have structured their organization raises significant questions regarding their intent and use of federal dollars.  Clearly just taking them at their word is not sufficient enough oversight.”

“At a time when hard-working American families are making tough financial sacrifices, I am appalled by recent reports involving the apparent rampant misuse of taxpayer dollars by ACORN, a community organization umbrella group,” Sen. Collins said.  “During the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, congressional oversight into how the public’s money is spent has never been more important.  That is why I am joining Rep. Issa in this urgent request that Inspectors General launch an official investigation. We are asking investigators to examine federal grants, contracts and assistance awarded to ACORN and its affiliates, to review whether ACORN and its affiliates have complied with our tax laws, and to determine whether an appropriate level of federal oversight was in place to begin with.”

Collins and Issa also ask that the IG’s to “determine whether appropriate oversight mechanisms” are in place to ensure funds distributed to ACORN and its affiliates were spent in a manner consistent with the criteria for which they applied for funding.  If the reviews uncover any evidence that ACORN and its affiliates misused funds, Issa and Collins have asked the IG’s to “refer such evidence to the Commission’s Suspension and Debarment Officials for a determination of whether or not ACORN and its affiliates need to be placed on the federal government’s Excluded Parties List.”

Click HERE to view the letters sent to HUD IG Kenneth Donohue Sr., SBA IG Peter McClintock, FEMA IG W. Craig Fugate, Treasury IG J. Russell George, U.S. Election Assistance Commission IG Curtis Crider, Labor Department IG Daniel Petrole and CNCS IG Kennth Bach.