Georgia – December 10, 2009

The content below was excerpted from the Georgia Appendix (PDF, 17 pages) of GAO's fourth bimonthly review of the Recovery Act.[1]

Contents

What We Did

Our work in Georgia focused on the Public Housing Capital Fund because projects funded with the formula funds were under way and the competitive funds had just been awarded. In addition to this program, we updated information on Highway Infrastructure Investment funds and three Recovery Act education programs—the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund; Title I, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended; and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Parts B and C—because significant Recovery Act funds had been obligated. For descriptions and requirements of the programs covered in our review, see appendix XVIII of GAO-10-232SP. We also focused on the state’s initial reporting on the jobs created and retained with Recovery Act funds and the use of Recovery Act funds in selected localities.

What We Found

Public Housing Capital Fund

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has allocated about $113 million in Recovery Act funding to 184 public housing agencies in Georgia. As of November 14, 2009, 124 of these agencies had obligated $55.8 million, and 100 agencies had drawn down $8.4 million. We visited public housing agencies in Athens, Atlanta, and Macon. With its formula funds, the Athens Housing Authority has completed a roofing project and begun work on modernizing 23 scattered sites. The Atlanta Housing Authority recently reassessed its design plans for 13 rehabilitation projects to be funded with formula awards and plans to begin work on them in the spring of 2010. The Macon Housing Authority plans to use $8.6 million in competitive grant funds to make a 100-unit housing development more energy efficient.

Highway Infrastructure Investment Funds

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) apportioned $932 million in Recovery Act funds to Georgia. As of October 31, 2009, the federal government had obligated $703 million to Georgia,[2] and $43 million had been reimbursed by the federal government.

Education

Our survey of local educational agencies (LEA) in Georgia showed that they plan to use Recovery Act funds to retain staff, but most LEAs still expect to lose staff overall.

Recipient Reporting

Georgia used a decentralized approach to meet Recovery Act reporting requirements—that is, 18 state agencies reported directly into the federal government’s reporting Web site. The State Accounting Office monitored the reporting process and identified some discrepancies, such as jobs associated with zero expenditures, that needed to be corrected. Although there were last minute changes to federal guidance that required data to be resubmitted, the State Accounting Office was generally satisfied with how the state completed the first round of reporting.

Selected Localities’ Use of Recovery Act Funds

The city of Atlanta, city of Macon, and Tift County had been awarded Recovery Act funding of $78 million, $4.5 million, and $378,000, respectively, as of November 12, 2009. For instance, Atlanta and Macon each received funds to hire additional police officers. Tift County received an award to hire additional staff in the District Attorney’s office.

Full December ReportBack to top

Recovery Act: Status of States' and Localities' Use of Funds and Efforts to Ensure Accountability
GAO-10-231
Recovery Act: Status of States' and Localities' Use of Funds and Efforts to Ensure Accountability
(Appendixes)
GAO-10-232SP
  • [1] Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115 (Feb. 17, 2009).
  • [2] This does not include obligations associated with $25 million of apportioned funds that were transferred from FHWA to the Federal Transit Administration for transit projects.
GAO Contact
portrait of of Alicia P. Cackley

Alicia P. Cackley

Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment

cackleya@gao.gov

(202) 512-7022

portrait of John H. Pendleton

John H. Pendleton

Director, Defense Capabilities and Management

pendletonj@gao.gov

(202) 512-3489