Moultrie non-profit accused of inflating stimulus reports - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moultrie non-profit accused of inflating stimulus reports

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

MOULTRIE,  GA (WALB) - A recent report from the White House shows the Obama administration's stimulus plan has saved or created 640,000 jobs.

But an investigation by the Associated Press questions that number. They say many community agencies are using a formula provided by the government that instructs them to count salary raises as jobs saved by stimulus money.

One of those agencies is in Moultrie. The Southwest Georgia Community Action Council is a non-profit corporation that helps the community through many programs geared toward senior citizens, children, and low income families.

They employ around 600 people across 18 counties. In a recent report to the White House, they claimed that money from the $787 billion stimulus plan saved 935 jobs. An impossible number, when they only employ 600.

According to a recent AP study, they are one of 250 community agencies with grossly inflated numbers, partly because the Obama administration is instructing local agencies to count salary raises as jobs saved.

Director Myrtis Mulkey-Ndawula wouldn't talk to me, but directed me to their website which stated "even though our calculations for the jobs created and maintained were computed using the formula we were provided, when the transfer was made for online reporting, the decimal point was inadvertently omitted." Meaning, they meant to report 9.35 jobs saved.

Colquitt county United Way director Angela Castellow defended the non-profit this afternoon.

"I think based on their integrity I think they probably made a mistake but again its not figures and things that I see," said Angela Castellow.

She says the council plays a huge role in the community, and has put stimulus money to good use.

"United Way works with them on funding programs, emergency relief, and nutrition programs, and they do a very thorough job," said Castellow.

Human error or not, according to the recent study many Head Start Programs all over the country are including every employee raise as a saved job. Making it easy for the administration to gloat on the stimulus plan's success.

The Associated Press quoted the Southwest Georgia community action council director as backing the number of 935 jobs saved based on the government's formula. But she later released the statement on the website blaming the number on the decimal point error.


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