Mississippi – 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 1, 2009, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had made about $225.5 million in increased FMAP grant awards to Mississippi.
  • As of April 1, 2009, the state had drawn down $114.1 million, or just more than 50 percent of its initial increased FMAP grant awards.
  • State officials reported that they plan to use funds made available as a result of the increased FMAP to cover their increased Medicaid caseload and to offset expected state budget deficits due to lower general fund revenue collections.

Transportation—Highway Infrastructure Investment

  • On March 2, 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation apportioned Mississippi about $355 million for highway infrastructure investment.
  • As of April 16, 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation had obligated approximately $137 million for 32 Mississippi projects.
  • As of April 1, 2009, Mississippi had signed contracts for 10 projects totaling approximately $77 million. The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) used a competitive and transparent process to select projects. These projects include activities such as road construction and road maintenance.

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

  • On April 2, 2009, the U.S. Department of Education allocated Mississippi about $321 million from the initial release of these funds.
  • 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 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. Mississippi plans to submit its application for state fiscal stabilization funds after it receives and reviews the final program guidance.
  • Mississippi expects to use these funds to help restore funding for elementary, secondary, and public higher education to prior levels in order to minimize reductions in education services in fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011. The state does not foresee having leftover funds for additional subgrants to local education agencies.

Mississippi is receiving additional Recovery Act dollars to fund other programs, including employment and training programs under the Workforce Investment Act, capital and management activities under the Public Housing Capital Fund, and gap financing for low-income housing tax credit projects under the Taxpayer Credit Assistance Program. The status of Mississippi's plans for using these funds is described throughout this appendix.

Safeguarding & TransparencyBack to top

The State Auditor's office has taken steps to ensure accountability. For example, the office hosted a meeting with state agency heads to discuss accountability requirements and expectations, and the office plans to conduct training seminars on accounting for and controlling the use of Recovery Act funds. In addition, officials with the auditor's office said Mississippi plans to add special accounting codes to the statewide accounting system in order to track the expenditure of Recovery Act funds. The state also plans to publicly report Recovery Act spending that state agencies receive directly. State officials noted that the statewide accounting system would not capture those funds that the federal government allocates directly to local and regional governmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, or higher education entities. According to the Governor's office, the state is developing a framework that would require these entities to report Recovery Act revenues and expenses to a central website.

Assessing the Effects of SpendingBack to top

According to state officials, they are waiting for the federal government to provide more specific guidance for measuring job creation and retention. For example, the officials noted that the federal government's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should provide more guidance for estimating job creation and retention.

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 Mississippi within the report, please see the following pages:
Appendix XII: Mississippi pages: 188 – 199
GAO Contact
portrait of of John K. Needham

John K. Needham

Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management

needhamjk1@gao.gov

(202) 512-5274