This report responds to two ongoing GAO mandates under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). It is the fifth in a series of reports since passage of the Recovery Act on the uses of and accountability for Recovery Act funds in 16 selected states, certain localities in those jurisdictions, and the District of Columbia (District). These jurisdictions are estimated to receive about two-thirds of the intergovernmental assistance available through the Recovery Act. It is also the second report in which GAO is required to comment on the jobs created or retained as reported by recipients of Recovery Act funds. GAO collected and analyzed documents and interviewed state and local officials and other Recovery Act award recipients. GAO also analyzed federal agency guidance and spoke with officials at federal agencies overseeing Recovery Act programs.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Transportation||The Secretary of Transportation should gather timely information on the progress states are making in meeting the maintenance-of-effort requirement and report preliminary information to Congress within 60 days of the certified period (Sept. 30, 2010), (1) on whether states met required program expenditures as outlined in their maintenance-of-effort certifications, (2) the reasons that states did not meet these certified levels, if applicable, and (3) lessons learned from the process.|
|Department of Housing and Urban Development||To help HUD achieve Recovery Act objectives and address challenges with its continued administration of Recovery Act funds, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should develop a management plan to determine the adequate level of agency staff needed to administer both the Recovery Act funds and the existing Capital Fund program going forward, including identifying future resource needs and determining whether current resources could be better utilized to administer these funds.|
|Department of Housing and Urban Development||The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should instruct housing agencies to discontinue use of the jobs calculator provided by HUD in the first round of recipient reporting for subsequent rounds of reporting to ensure the correct job calculation is used.|
|Office of Management and Budget||To improve the consistency of full-time equivalent (FTE) data collected and reported, the Secretary of the Department of Education (Education) and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should provide clarifying guidance to recipients on how to best calculate FTEs for education employees during quarters when school is not in session.|
|Department of Education||To improve the consistency of full-time equivalent (FTE) data collected and reported, the Secretary of the Department of Education (Education) and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should provide clarifying guidance to recipients on how to best calculate FTEs for education employees during quarters when school is not in session.|
|Office of Management and Budget||OMB should work with the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board and federal agencies, building on lessons learned, to establish a formal and feasible framework for review of recipient changes during the continual update period and consider providing more time for agencies to review and provide feedback to recipients before posting updated reports on Recovery.gov.|