Sean Moulton is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO). We’ve invited Sean to discuss his recent report on how Increased Infrastructure Oversight Falls Short for the Biden Administration’s infrastructure law, while still being an important step forward. Sean explains how new oversight measures are implemented via executive order, which means they can easily be dismantled by future administrations, lacking the permanence and manifestation of consensus of legislation. Also, the new measures rely on executive branch officials accepting the advice of Inspectors General and fail to provide consistency across the multiple federal departments, state, county and local governments, and contracts, grants and loans across which trillions of infrastructure and climate money will be spent. These observations echo those in past podcasts by retired U.S. Treasury Inspector General Eric Thorson, and Contra Cost County Supervisor John Gioia.
Prior to POGO, Sean worked for over a decade on transparency and government accountability issues, leading the Center for Effective Government’s open government work for 13 years. The Center for Open Government, previously known as “OMB Watch”, pioneered making federal government spending visible to taxpayers through an online database. (“OMB” stands for Office of Management and Budget, an office within the White House that oversees the implementation of the President’s financial vision across the executive branch. OMB eventually licensed OMB Watch’s database technology to create usaspending.gov, a detailed, comprehensive and official accounting of federal government spending that’s open to the public.