Georgia – April 23, 2009

Use of Funds

An estimated 90 percent of Recovery Act funding provided to states and localities nationwide in fiscal year 2009 (through Sept. 30, 2009) will be for health, transportation and education programs. The three largest programs in these categories are the Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) awards, the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, and highways.

Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) Funds

  • As of April 3, 2009, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had made about $521 million in increased FMAP grant awards to Georgia.
  • As of April 1, 2009, Georgia had drawn down about $312 million, or 60 percent of its initial increased FMAP grant awards.
  • State officials plan to use funds made available as a result of the increased FMAP to address increased caseloads, offset general fund needs, and maintain current benefit levels and provider reimbursement rates in the state's Medicaid program.

Transportation—Highway Infrastructure Investment

  • Georgia was apportioned about $932 million for highway infrastructure investment on March 2, 2009, by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • As of April 16, 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation had not obligated any Recovery Act funds for Georgia projects.
  • On April 7, 2009, the Governor certified that the Georgia Department of Transportation plans to spend $208 million on 67 projects throughout the state. The department plans to award contracts for most of these projects by May 22, 2009.
  • These projects include maintenance, bridge work, and other activities.

U.S. Department of Education State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (Initial Release)

  • Georgia was allocated about $1 billion from the initial release of these funds on April 2, 2009, by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Before receiving the funds, states are required to submit an application that provides several assurances to the Department of Education. These include assurances that they will meet maintenance of effort requirements (or that they will be able to comply with waiver provisions) and that they will implement strategies to meet certain educational requirements, including increasing teacher effectiveness, addressing inequities in the distribution of highly qualified teachers, and improving the quality of state academic standards and assessments. Georgia plans to submit its application in late April or early May.
  • The state's fiscal year 2010 budget, which passed on April 3, 2009, included $521 million in state fiscal stabilization funds for education.

Georgia also is receiving Recovery Act funds under other programs, such as Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) (commonly known as No Child Left Behind); the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B; and the Tax Credit Assistance Program. The status of plans for using these funds is discussed throughout this appendix.

Safeguarding & TransparencyBack to top

A small core team consisting of representatives from the Office of Planning and Budget, State Accounting Office, and Department of Administrative Services (the department responsible for procurement) is taking steps to establish safeguards for Recovery Act funds and mitigate identified areas of risk. For example, the State Accounting Office has issued guidance on tracking Recovery Act funds separately, and the Office of Planning and Budget is developing a state-level strategy to monitor high-risk agencies. The State Auditor and Inspector General will monitor the use of Recovery Act funds.

Assessing the Effects of SpendingBack to top

While waiting for additional federal guidance, the state has taken some steps to assess the impact of Recovery Act funds on the state, including adapting an automated system currently used for financial management to meet Recovery Act reporting requirements.

For More InformationBack to top

The above excerpts are taken from GAO's April 23, 2009 Bimonthly Review of the Recovery Act:

Recovery Act: As Initial Implementation Unfolds in States and Localities, Continued Attention to Accountability Issues Is Essential
GAO-09-580, April 23, 2009
For more information on Georgia within the report, please see the following pages:
Appendix VII: Georgia pages: 117 – 134
GAO Contact
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Alicia P. Cackley

Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment

(202) 512-7022

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John H. Pendleton

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(202) 512-3489