Arizona – September 23, 2009

The content below was excerpted from the Arizona Appendix (PDF, 47 pages) of GAO's third bimonthly review of the Recovery Act.[1]


Use of Funds

We reviewed two programs in Arizona funded under the Recovery Act—Highway Infrastructure Investment and the Weatherization Assistance Program. We selected these for different reasons. Contracts for highway projects using Highway Infrastructure Investment funds have been under way in Arizona for several months, and provided an opportunity to review financial controls, including the oversight of contracts. The Weatherization Assistance Program funding provided a significant addition to the annual appropriations for the program assisting more low-income households to achieve energy efficiency while providing long-term financial relief. Furthermore, it provided an opportunity to determine the state and local procedures in place to ensure monitoring, tracking, and measurement of weatherization program success. We reviewed contracting procedures and examined four specific contracts under Recovery Act Highway Infrastructure Investment funds. In addition to these two programs, we also updated funding information on three Recovery Act education programs with significant funds being disbursed—the U.S. Department of Education (Education) State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) and Recovery Act funds under Title I, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B. Consistent with the purposes of the Recovery Act, funds from the programs we reviewed are being directed to help Arizona and local governments stabilize their budgets and to stimulate infrastructure development and expand existing programs—thereby providing needed services and potential jobs. The following provides highlights of our review of these funds:

Highway Infrastructure Investment

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) apportioned $522 million in Recovery Act funds to Arizona. As of September 1, 2009, the federal government has obligated $293 million to Arizona and $18 million has been reimbursed by the federal government.
  • As of September 3, 2009, Arizona has awarded 47 contracts totaling $135.1 million for statewide highway projects. Arizona has provided for at least one construction contract for Recovery Act highway project in each of its 15 counties with all counties receiving at least $100,000 in statewide Recovery Act Federal Highway funds and 13 of the 15 counties each receiving at least $1.8 million.
  • Arizona has awarded only three construction contracts for local highway projects because of a lack of local shovel-ready projects. The lack of projects was due to some localities’ not understanding the allocations that they would receive as well as their unfamiliarity with federal highway requirements.

Weatherization Assistance Program

  • The U.S. Department of Energy has allocated to Arizona about $57 million in funding for the Recovery Act Weatherization Assistance Program for a 3-year period. As of September 1, 2009, approximately $49 million has been allocated to local service providers to conduct weatherization training and make energy efficiency improvements with approximately $28.5 million eligible for reimbursement.
  • Arizona expects to expend the full Recovery Act funding allocation before the 3-year period and plans to weatherize approximately 6,400 units statewide, which according to state officials, could result in as much as $1.8 million in overall energy savings annually.
  • As of September 11, 2009, Arizona had expended $771,485 of Recovery Act weatherization funds, or about 1.4 percent of the total allocation. While most local service providers were ready to begin weatherization work, they waited until they were provided final Davis-Bacon Act local wage requirements.

Updated Funding Information on Education Programs

  • Education has awarded Arizona approximately $557 million of the state’s approximately $1 billion of SFSF available funds. Of that, Arizona had planned to provide approximately $250 million to elementary and secondary local education agencies and approximately $183 million to public institutions of higher education. As of September 8, 2009, Arizona had not disbursed any SFSF funds to local education agencies or community colleges, but has disbursed approximately $154 million to the state’s three universities.
  • Additionally, Education has awarded Arizona about $195 million in Recovery Act ESEA Title I funds. Arizona has allocated about $185 million, or 95 percent of these funds, to local education agencies (LEA). Based on information available as of September 8, 2009, Arizona has disbursed about $3 million to local education agencies. These funds are to be used to help educate disadvantaged youth.
  • Education has also awarded Arizona about $184 million in Recovery Act funds under IDEA, Part B. As of September 8, 2009, local education agencies have been allocated all $184 million and have received $2.2 million of the funds. The IDEA funds are to be used to support special education and related services for children and youth with disabilities.

Full September ReportBack to top

Recovery Act: Funds Continue to Provide Fiscal Relief to States and Localities, While Accountability and Reporting Challenges Need to Be Fully Addressed
Recovery Act: Funds Continue to Provide Fiscal Relief to States and Localities, While Accountability and Reporting Challenges Need to Be Fully Addressed (Appendixes)
  • [1] Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115 (Feb. 17, 2009).
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