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State auditor unveils Delaware CARES Act Fund Tracker

There’s a new way for Delawareans to track how the state spent its federal CARES Act funding on COVID-19 pandemic relief.";

Delaware’s state auditor this week unveiled the Delaware CARES Act Fund Tracker.

The state of Delaware received 1.25 billion in CARES Act funding to help it respond to the COVID-19 pandemic - with nearly $323 million of that total going specifically to New Castle County.

State Auditor Kathy McGuiness says her office hopes to offer people a way to see where that money went.

“The Fund Tracker is a way to provide oversight - taxpayer funds - in a simple form that the public could understand," said McGuiness. "That being said, our Fund Tracker specifically is just looking at funds spent and where they were spent. But right now we’re just extracting data and we’re updating it once a week. And this is the spending by the State for the coronavirus response.”

McGuiness explains why she is launching this now - so close to the deadline for spending the funds.

“Honestly it was a timing issue; I had this idea in March. You also have to look at resources and who's on what projects and what is going where - we’re a small office," said McGuiness. "And then there was also a conversation as to what we would put up there; I just want to say - these are the monies that have been spent, because that’s what people are asking me.”

McGuiness notes when CARES Act funding was initially distributed her office was prepared to assist in providing oversight, but it was excluded because CARES Act funding is considered federal  - not state - dollars.

Most of Delaware’s federal coronavirus relief funding has gone toward handling the spike in unemployment insurance benefits the state is paying. Delaware has also allocated money for  contact tracing and coronavirus testing, childcare for families of essential workers and the state’s hospitality emergency loan program.

McGuiness says her hope is this tracker offers additional transparency for Delawareans when it comes to use of these funds - which must be spent by the end of year.

The CARES Act Fund Tracker is available online here.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.