Case in point, PolitiFact did a check on Mitt Romney's claim that the federal government runs 49 jobs programs and oversees those programs using eight different agencies.
PolitiFact used as its key source a Government Accountability Office report that focused on fiscal year 2009.
The current year is 2012, and it is the year in which Romney made his statement.
PolitiFact made a very weak effort to update the GAO numbers with reports of new federal job training programs or changes in the number of agencies overseeing said programs. Indeed, PolitiFact did not make any mention of the Wall Street Journal column that probably served as Romney's source:
There are no fewer than 49 federal job training programs administered by nine agencies that cost taxpayers some $14.5 billion in 2010. A General Accountability Office performance audit in 2011 looked at fiscal year 2009 and determined that "only 5 of the 47 programs have had impact studies that assess whether the program is responsible for improved employment outcomes."If the Journal report is correct then Romney is off by one as to the number of agencies overseeing job training programs and did not overestimate the number of federal jobs programs. PolitiFact, if the Journal report is correct, was accurate regarding the number of agencies but off by at least two regarding the number of programs, with the latter an understatement of the actual number.
It looks very much like PolitiFact simply whiffed on the attempt to check for new information updating the GAO numbers. Without that information PolitiFact has no business trying to rate the truth of Romney's claim.