Each department has an office of inspector general that serves as a watchdog over spending. Sometimes a special inspector general's office is created to monitor large programs.
In this case, the administration is doing a little of both. It is providing each inspector general with additional money. It is also creating the Accountability and Transparency Board, headed by former Interior Department watchdog Earl Devaney.
Devaney said his goal is to minimize waste and fraud before the money is spent. "Everybody seems to be focusing on trying to prevent waste and fraud, as opposed to just simply detecting it and doing investigations and audits," he said.
Setting up oversight from the beginning provides better chances of success, said Clark Kent Ervin, who was the first inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security.
"The sooner you have such mechanisms in place, the greater your chances of minimizing problems," Ervin said.
How the money's divided
The $787 billion economic stimulus plan includes $330.5 million to prevent waste and mismanagement in spending the stimulus money.
Here's where it would go:
Source: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act