This testimony discusses GAO's role to help ensure accountability and transparency for science funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The purposes of the Recovery Act funds include preserving and creating jobs and promoting economic recovery; assisting those most impacted by the recession; investing in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure to provide long-term economic benefits; and stabilizing state and local government budgets. The Recovery Act, estimated to cost $787 billion, includes more than $21 billion in spending at the Departments of Energy and Commerce, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for research and development (R&D) related activities that support fundamental research, demonstrate and deploy advanced energy technologies, purchase scientific instrumentation and equipment, and construct or modernize research facilities. This statement discusses (1) GAO's responsibilities under the Recovery Act related to science funding; (2) particular R&D funding areas that deserve special attention to ensure that funds are best used; and (3) GAO's plans for carrying out its responsibilities under the act.
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