By KRISTI E. SWARTZ
A coalition of watchdog groups Wednesday formally called on the state to be more open with how it spends federal stimulus money.
The group, called the Georgia Stimulus Transparency and Accountability Coalition, or GSTAC, is asking for more oversight over how the dollars are funneled down from Washington and spent on transportation, energy, public housing and other projects. It also wants to know how many jobs have been created or saved and how much those workers are being paid as a result of the federal stimulus package.
The group’s nine members include Common Cause Georgia, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, Georgia Watch and Georgians for Smart Energy. They are calling for, among other things, that the state ban ex-parte conversations about stimulus projects and require written proposals instead.
GSTAC also wants a Web site that includes how each state agency will spend its share of the stimulus money.
A spokesman for Gov. Sonny Perdue said last week that the state is working on a new federal stimulus Web site that should be ready by the end of the month.
“The governor has given firm instructions that state agencies should spend stimulus dollars transparently, allowing all Georgians to hold their government accountable. He wants to be able to point to results when future generations ask how the money was spent,” spokesman Chris Schrimpf said Wednesday.