Recovery Board's Devaney to resign

Thursday - 12/1/2011, 9:00am EST

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, tasked with tracking Recovery Act spending, announced his resignation Thursday.

Devaney's resignation, which is effective Dec. 31, comes after more than four decades of federal service.

Along with resigning his position as chairman of the RATB, he also said he would be stepping down as the chairman of the Government Accountability and Transparency Board.

That office was launched in August with the broader goal of overseeing all facets of federal spending to cut government waste and increase transparency.

The Recovery Board was created in 2009 to oversee spending under the $787 billion stimulus fund program. Instrumental to the oversight was the creation of Recovery.gov, a site to show the public how the Recovery Act money was being spent. It's also a place to report potential fraud and abuse.

"In striving to protect the integrity of Recovery Act funds, I have had the privilege of working with Vice President Biden, whose thoughtful devotion to this historic undertaking I have prized highly," Devaney wrote in a letter announcing his intent to resign. "I have also been gratified to work with the innovative, forward-thinking IGs on the Board as we endeavored to prevent and detect fraud, waste and mismanagement in Recovery Act spending, and also made such spending transparent for all to see."

The recovery board confirmed Devaney's resignation after it was first reported by The Washington Post.

Devaney told The Post he plans to retire to Florida with his wife and work part-time as a consultant.

'Transformational' transparency

In a previous Federal News Radio interview, Devaney touted the "transformational" nature of Recovery.gov.

"We're putting the information up, relatively speaking, in its raw form," Devaney said in the interview with Federal News Radio. "I think part of the transparency lesson is that embarrassment will drive self-correcting behavior, and transparency drives accountability. This kind of transparency is going to give us IGs a heck of a step up when it comes to finding out things we probably never would have inside the Beltway."

Previously, Devaney had served as inspector general for the Interior Department, as well as director of the Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training for the Environmental Protection Agency.

When President Obama named Devaney to head the board, the President said, "Earl has doggedly pursued waste, fraud and mismanagement. He has the reputation of being one of the best [Inspectors General] that we have in this town…. I can't think of a more tenacious and efficient guardian of the hard-earned tax dollars the American people have entrusted us to wisely invest," according to the Recovery Board website.

(Jack Moore contributed to this report.)

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