LOCAL TV Act: Administrative Funds May No Longer Be Necessary

GAO-05-438 Published: Apr 22, 2005. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 2005.
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This is GAO's third report addressing the LOCAL TV Act's requirement that GAO perform an annual audit of the (1) administration of the provisions of the act and (2) financial position of each applicant who receives a loan guarantee under the act, including the nature, amount, and purpose of investments made by the applicant. Although the LOCAL Television Loan Guarantee Program (LOCAL TV Program) was implemented in fiscal year 2004, there were no loan guarantee applicants for GAO to audit. Therefore, this report primarily addresses whether program administration during fiscal year 2004 satisfied the provisions of the act.

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Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
Should the Congress decide not to provide future loan guarantee funding, it may wish to consider saving budgetary resources by rescinding the balance of the $2 million appropriated for administrative expenses to carry out the LOCAL TV Program that has been transferred to GovWorks, but remains unobligated by contracts in that account.
Closed – Implemented
On December 8, 2004, the Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, one provision of which rescinded appropriations that would have been used to guarantee loans under the LOCAL TV Program but did not rescind the remaining balance of the $2 million appropriated for administrative expenses. The President's Budgets for USDA for fiscal years 2006 and 2007 both pointed out that the unobligated budget authority for this program had been rescinded and the administration was not proposing additional funds for this program. We reiterated this matter for congressional consideration in our most recent LOCAL TV Program report (GAO-06-858R, July 7, 2006). In fiscal years 2006 and 2007 USDA/GovWorks transferred the remaining unexpended balance of about $1.3 million from USDA's account to the Department of Treasury. Therefore, the intent of our recommendation was met.

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