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Jobs reports 'riddled with inaccuracies'

WASHINGTON — The reports on jobs created or saved by the $787 billion stimulus package are "riddled with inaccuracies and contradictions," the federal watchdog overseeing the spending acknowledged Thursday.

Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, told a House oversight committee that the board is taking steps to correct the errors and prevent mistakes in future reports, which are filed by the recipients of stimulus money and posted on the board's website.

The board is working on creating software with "internal logic checks" to automatically reject reports that are clearly wrong, Devaney said.

In late October, the administration reported that the first recipients of stimulus grants, contracts or loans created or saved more than 640,000 jobs. Recipients of tax breaks and aid such as unemployment insurance are not required to report, so the job numbers cover only about $47 billion of the $173 billion spent by Sept. 30.

USA TODAY was among those that found examples of errors in that data, such as a Texas housing authority mistakenly reporting 450 jobs created by a $26,000 roofing project that actually employed six people.
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