The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) mandates GAO to review states' and localities' use of funds made available under the act. Currently, we are examining the efforts of selected states and local educational agencies (LEA) to ensure appropriate uses of Recovery Act funds. In North Carolina, we have been reviewing efforts undertaken by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and selected LEAs to administer and oversee the use of Recovery Act funds under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) education stabilization funds; Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA Title I), as amended; and Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended. According to Education regulations, grant funds may only be used for allowable costs and reasonable fees or profit to cost-type contractors, and state and local governments must follow the cost principles set out in OMB Circular No. A-87 for determining allowable costs. North Carolina's Office of Economic Recovery & Investment (OERI) issued management directives regarding the use of Recovery Act funds for procurement of goods and services. According to state officials, OERI directives require recipients of Recovery Act funds to advertise contracts for $5,000 or more and obtain multiple bids or price quotes for Recovery Act procurements.
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