by Greta Kaul
The federal stimulus watchdog said he would not vouch for the White House's claim that the stimulus saved or created 640,000 jobs Thursday.
Earl Devaney, whose agency produced the data, said under questioning that accounting for job creation with reports filed by recipients of stimulus money was error-prone, according to the Associated Press.
He added the administration should have been more skeptical of the numbers when it announced that the stimulus was on track with its goal of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010, according to the AP.
Devaney told officials that missing reports and inaccuracies in reporting could drive job numbers above or below the projected 640,000, the New York Times said.
Rep. David Obey, D-Wisc., an author of the stimulus bill, called the data mistakes "ludicrous," according to the NY Times.
A report by the Government Accountability Office found many jobs reported by agencies that had not reported spending any of their stimulus money, and many agencies that received large sums of money reporting no job creation, according to the NY Times.
Devaney said that the downside to the transparency of the federal stimulus was embarrassment, according to the AP.