Texas – September 23, 2009

The content below was excerpted from the Texas Appendix (PDF, 36 pages) of GAO's third bimonthly review of the Recovery Act.[1]

Contents

Use of Funds

We reviewed three programs in Texas funded under the Recovery Act Highway Infrastructure Investment funds, Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program, and Weatherization Assistance Program. We selected these programs for different reasons. The Highway Infrastructure Investment fund was selected because highway projects have been underway in Texas for several months, and provided an opportunity to review contracts. The WIA Youth Program was selected because Texas received a large increase in funding, the program was in full operation, and it provided an opportunity to review contracts. We selected the Weatherization Assistance Program because the Recovery Act provided a 25-fold increase in Texas’s funding. With these programs 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. We reviewed contracting procedures and examined two specific contracts under both the Recovery Act Highway Infrastructure Investment fund and the WIA Youth Program. In addition to these three programs, we also updated funding information on the use of Recovery Act funding in Texas’s budget, including the use of the U.S. Department of Education (Education) State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF). Consistent with the purposes of the Recovery Act, funds from the programs we reviewed are being directed to help Texas 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:

U.S. Department of Education State Fiscal Stabilization Fund

  • Education approved Texas’s application making more than $2 billion available for education programs, including public schools and higher education. As of September 8, 2009, the state has received 287 applications from school districts for these funds.

Highway Infrastructure Investment Program

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) apportioned $2.25 billion in Recovery Act funds to Texas. As of September 1, 2009, the federal government has obligated $1.19 billion for 287 projects to Texas and $47 million has been reimbursed by the federal government. Seventy-eight percent of highway obligations have been for pavement improvements and roadway widening.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program

  • The Texas Workforce Commission has allocated approximately $70 million of the WIA Youth Recovery Act funds, received from the Department of Labor, to 28 workforce development boards within the state. The goal is to expend at least 70 percent of these funds by September 30, 2009. As of August 15, 2009, local workforce development boards had expended approximately $31.5 million and enrolled over 19,500 youth in summer employment activities throughout Texas. Texas is exceeding its target goal of summer employment for 14,420 youth.

Weatherization Assistance Program

  • On July 10, 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy provided the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) access to $163.5 million of the state’s $327 million Recovery Act funding allocation. On September 11, 2009, TDHCA entered into contracts totaling $145.5 million with subrecipients. The remaining $17.8 million will be used for TDHCA administration and technical assistance and training for subrecipients and grantees.

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).
GAO Contact
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Lorelei St James

Acting Director, Defense Capabilities and Management

stjamesl@gao.gov

(214) 777-5719