The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) aims to stimulate the economy. It provided $787 billion in spending and tax provisions; more than a third of the money was slated for projects and activities, including construction and certain research projects. To implement a project using federal funds, agencies and funding recipients must comply with federal laws and regulations. GAO was asked to identify key federal requirements that apply to Recovery Act projects and to assess the extent to which (1) selected agencies have obligated and spent funds for Recovery Act projects and (2) federal requirements and other factors have affected, or are expected to affect, project selection and start dates. GAO requested data from 27 agencies that received appropriations under the act. We also spoke with officials responsible for implementing Recovery Act projects in 16 states and the District of Columbia, which together are estimated to receive about two-thirds of the intergovernmental federal assistance available under the act. We also spoke with organizations representing state and local officials and the private sector, as well as private sector contractors. Although GAO is not making recommendations in this report, these findings may be helpful in considering and designing legislation with similar objectives.
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