White House officials disputed and deleted more than 60,000 from its initial stimulus progress reports because the numbers some outlets submitted were "unrealistic."
According to ABC News, which first discovered and reported about the Office of Management and Budget's internal memo, 12 agencies submitted job data that were highly suspect, given the amount of funds they were provided and the staggeringly high number of jobs they said federal dollars created.
"Overall, the recipients provided good information on the impact of the Recovery Act across the country," Rob Nabors, deputy director at OMB, stressed to ABC News on Monday.
"The test that we used when examining the data for accuracy was, 'Is that reasonable?' When the answer was no, we acted accordingly," he added, noting that was the case with the OMB memo ABC unearthed.
Although Monday's mistakes seem minuscule -- White House officials did catch them before reporting the numbers -- they mark at least the third time the Obama administration has found itself defending its stimulus data.
An Associated Press investigation at the end of October cast serious doubt on the White House's initial claim that about 2 percent of stimulus funds created roughly 30,000 jobs. More likely, the AP contended, that number was closer to 25,000, if not lower, thanks in part to early reporting troubles and form confusions.
The White House, however, quickly called the AP inquiry "misleading" and stressed its numbers at that stage of the reporting process were expectedly tentative.
But even after the White House revised its projection and more conclusively determined initial stimulus awards created upwards of 650,000 jobs, the speculation continued. Individual states, including Georgia, have since said their own firms have misstated the jobs saved or created by recovery act dollars, often to the tune of thousands.
Ultimately, congressional lawmakers will consider the past month's findings -- including today's memo -- at a hearing about the stimulus scheduled for Thursday, ABC reported Monday.