[StBernard] LRA Director Commends Transparency Initiative for Federal Rebuilding Funds for the Gulf Coast

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Mon Feb 25 21:56:37 EST 2008

LRA Executive Director Commends Transparency Initiative for Federal Rebuilding Funds for the Gulf Coast

BATON ROUGE, La. (February 25, 2008) - Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) Executive Director Paul Rainwater issued the following statement commending the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding, led by Chairman Don Powell, on its Transparency Initiative, which was announced today in New Orleans:

"This initiative is an example of not only talking about transparency, but actually doing something transparent -- putting out a product to show where dollars are being spent. I commend Chairman Powell's office for leading this effort and offer the full support of our staff at the LRA to continue to add layers to this transparency effort as it moves forward.

"One of the LRA's main goals from the start has always been to ensure transparency and accountability in the process of spending recovery dollars. Under the new administration, Governor Bobby Jindal has made his will clear to us - pick up the pace of rebuilding, spend the federal funds we have and do it wisely, strategically and transparently.

"Louisiana was fortunate to receive billions of dollars in federal funding to help us respond, rebuild and recover. But the great generosity of the American taxpayers comes with a great responsibility to spend those dollars wisely.

"We take this responsibility very seriously. We must be accountable not only to our Louisiana citizens who are rebuilding, but also to the taxpayers and to the thousands of people who have shared their time, money and concern with our region.

"It is fitting that this initiative is launching with data about our education system, because for our children and families, schools are the threads that hold our communities together. Seeing where schools are located gives people a sense of strong federal and state commitments to our region. The recovery of our schools is well on its way and I thank Education Superintendent Paul Pastorek for being engaged in our recovery today and every day."

This afternoon in New Orleans, Rainwater joined representatives of Chairman Powell's office, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Department of Education for the roll out of an online tracking system that plots investments in schools in New Orleans. The aim of the Transparency Initiative is to explain where federal funds are invested on the Gulf Coast.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/gulfcoastrebuild <http://www.dhs.gov/gulfcoastrebuild> .

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated South Louisiana, claiming 1,464 lives, destroying more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 businesses. The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the planning and coordinating body that was created in the aftermath of these storms to lead one of the most extensive rebuilding efforts in the world. The LRA is a 33-member body which is coordinating across jurisdictions, supporting community recovery and resurgence, ensuring integrity and effectiveness, and planning for the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana.


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