As part of FY22 appropriations, Members of Congress could request to designate a certain amount of federal funding for specific projects in their communities.
While agencies often have discretion over how they award funds, Congress has directed them to distribute these funds to designated recipients. We're tracking the funds to help ensure transparency.
The Department of Labor's FY22 appropriations included $137.6 million for 173 of these projects.
This report looks at when DOL plans to distribute the funds and how it plans to ensure they're spent properly.
We're also tracking these funds across government and at 17 other agencies.
DOL: Where did the FY 2022 funding go?
What GAO Found
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 appropriated $137.6 million to the Department of Labor (DOL) for 173 projects at the request of Members of Congress. The act includes specific provisions that designate an amount of funds for a particular recipient to use for a specific project. These provisions are called "Congressionally Directed Spending" in the U.S. Senate and "Community Project Funding" in the House of Representatives.
GAO described, among other things, information about the intended uses for these funds, the recipients to whom they were designated, and when DOL expects designated recipients to have access to the funds:
The intended uses of these funds are to support employment and training needs of dislocated workers, other adults, and youth. Examples of projects include training for specific industries, such green energy, hospitality, and trucking as well as career development and job pathways for individuals, including those with autism, young people, and formerly incarcerated adults.
The designated recipients of these funds are mostly higher education and other nonprofit organizations. The remaining designated recipients are tribal, state, or local governments. Funding ranges from $20,000 to $6.3 million, with about 70 percent of the projects designated to receive less than $1 million.
DOL plans to obligate funds once it has reviewed and approved information from designated recipients about their plans for using the funds. DOL must obligate the funds by June 30, 2023. DOL stated that designated recipients must generally spend the funds within one to three years, as specified in their award documents for these funds.
Why GAO Did This Study
The joint explanatory statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 includes a provision for GAO to review agencies' implementation of Community Project Funding/Congressionally Directed Spending.
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