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Tracking the Funds: Specific Fiscal Year 2022 Provisions for Department of Commerce

GAO-22-105911 Published: Sep 29, 2022. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 2022.
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Fast Facts

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 Commerce's FY22 appropriations included $247.5 million for 107 of these projects.

This report looks at when Commerce 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.

Department of Commerce: Where did the FY2022 funding go?

U.S. map showing where the Department of Commerce's FY 2022 project funding was allocated.

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What GAO Found

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 appropriated $247.5 million to the Department of Commerce for 107 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 Commerce expects recipients will have access to the funds:

The intended uses of these funds are to support new and ongoing scientific research through the construction of facilities, upgrades to equipment, and efforts to restore and monitor natural habitats.

The designated recipients of these funds are mostly higher education organizations and other nonprofit organizations. The remaining recipients are federal, state, and local governments, and a tribal entity. Funding ranged from $50,000 to $60 million.

Commerce plans to obligate funds between September 2022 and December 2022, although when funds must be obligated varies by account.

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.

For more information, contact Cardell Johnson at (202) 512-3814 or and Candice Wright at (202) 512-6888 or

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ConstructionExpenditure of fundsFederal fundsGrant programsHigher educationResearch and developmentResearch and development facilitiesUse of fundsTechnology assessmentNonprofit organizations