The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) requires recipients of funding from federal agencies to report quarterly on jobs created or retained with Recovery Act funding. The first recipient reports filed in October 2009 cover activity from February through September 30, 2009. GAO is required to comment on the jobs created or retained as reported by recipients. This report addresses (1) the extent to which recipients were able to fulfill their reporting requirements and the processes in place to help ensure data quality and (2) how macroeconomic data and methods, and the recipient reports, can be used to assess the employment effects of the Recovery Act. GAO performed an initial set of basic analyses on the final recipient report data that first became available at www.recovery.gov on October 30, 2009; reviewed documents; interviewed relevant state and federal officials; and conducted fieldwork in selected states, focusing on a sample of highway and education projects.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Office of Management and Budget||To improve the consistency of FTE data collected and reported, we recommended in November 2009 that OMB clarify the definition and standardize the period of measurement for the FTE data element in the recipient reports.|
|Office of Management and Budget||OMB should work with the Recovery Board and federal agencies to reexamine review and quality assurance processes, procedures, and requirements in light of experiences and identified issues with this round of recipient reporting and consider whether additional modifications need to be made and if additional guidance is warranted.|
|Office of Management and Budget||To improve the consistency of FTE data collected and reported, we also recommended in November 2009 that OMB consider being more explicit that "jobs created or retained" are to be reported as hours worked and paid for with Recovery Act funds.|
|Office of Management and Budget||To improve the consistency of FTE data collected and reported, we also recommended in our November 2009 report that OMB continue working with federal agencies to provide or improve program-specific guidance to assist recipients, especially as it applies to the full-time equivalent calculation for individual programs.|