Mississippi – September 23, 2009

The content below was excerpted from the Mississippi Appendix (PDF, 37 pages) of GAO's third bimonthly review of the Recovery Act.[1]

Contents

Use of Funds

Our work in Mississippi focused on specific programs funded under the Recovery Act and included reviewing three Recovery Act programs in detail, collecting summary data on two education programs, and updating the state’s fiscal condition since our July report. The programs we reviewed in detail were the state’s highway program, the Weatherization Assistance Program, and Recovery Act funds being provided under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. We selected the highway program because the state’s full allocation of Recovery Act funds was available for use and the state had work underway, the weatherization program because the Recovery Act significantly increased the program’s funding, and the ESEA Title I program because the state was expected to make the first release of Recovery Act funds to schools during the time frame of our review. In addition to these programs, we also updated funding information on the U.S. Department of Education’s (Education) State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Consistent with the purposes of the Recovery Act, funds from the programs we reviewed are being directed to help Mississippi and local governments stabilize their budgets and expand existing programs—thereby providing needed services. We focused on how funds were being used; how safeguards were being implemented, including those related to procurement of goods and services; and how results were being assessed. The funds include the following:

Highway Infrastructure Investment

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) apportioned $355 million in Recovery Act funds to Mississippi.
  • As of September 1, 2009, the federal government has obligated $289 million to Mississippi and $21 million has been reimbursed by the federal government.[2]

  • Almost 76 percent of Recovery Act highway obligations for Mississippi have been for pavement projects, including roadway repaving, widening, and new construction projects. Specifically, $154 million of the $289 million obligated for Mississippi’s use as of September 1, 2009, is being used for roadway repaving projects, including $4 million for approximately 18 miles of repaving at a site we visited in the south central region of the state.

ESEA Title I, Part A Funds

  • Education has awarded Mississippi $132.9 million in Recovery Act funds under ESEA Title I, Part A.
  • As of September 8, Mississippi had released no Recovery Act ESEA Title I, Part A funds to local education agencies (LEA). Each agency is required to submit an application to the state, outlining its planned uses of these funds. According to MDE, it will review applications through the end of September.
  • Once funds are released, the agencies plan to use them for technology upgrades and supplemental reading and math programs.

Updated Funding Information on Other Education Programs

  • As of September 4, 2009, the Governor of Mississippi had not released any of the $262.7 million that Education allocated under the SFSF for education stabilization. The Governor plans to release the education stabilization funds after the state has resubmitted its application for the funds to Education and after reviewing applications submitted by LEAs that detail each agency’s planned use of the funds.
  • Education has also awarded Mississippi about $127 million in Recovery Act funds under IDEA, Parts B and C, as of September 4, 2009. None of these funds have been released to LEAs.

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
GAO-09-1016
Recovery Act: Funds Continue to Provide Fiscal Relief to States and Localities, While Accountability and Reporting Challenges Need to Be Fully Addressed (Appendixes)
GAO-09-1017SP
  • [1] Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115 (Feb. 17, 2009).
  • [2] For the Highway Infrastructure Investment Program, the U.S. Department of Transportation has interpreted the term obligation of funds to mean the federal government’s contractual commitment to pay for the federal share of the project. This commitment occurs at the time the federal government signs a project agreement. States request reimbursement from FHWA as the state makes payments to contractors working on approved projects.
GAO Contact
portrait of of John K. Needham

John K. Needham

Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management

needhamjk1@gao.gov

(202) 512-5274