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 specific recipients. We're tracking the funds to help ensure transparency.
The Department of Energy's FY22 appropriations included $103.1 million for 65 of these projects.
This report looks at when DOE 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 Energy: Where did the FY 2022 funding go?
What GAO Found
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 appropriated $103.1 million to the Department of Energy (DOE) for 65 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 DOE expects recipients will have access to the funds:
The intended uses of these funds are to support efforts to address climate change through investments in renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as improvements in the resilience of the electricity grid. Examples of projects include expanding solar energy infrastructure and incentivizing energy efficiency.
The designated recipients of these funds include tribal, state, and local governments, higher education organizations, and other nonprofit organizations in 23 states. Funding ranged from $50,000 to $9 million, with an average of $1.6 million per project.
DOE expects most of the funds to be awarded by the end of 2022 with most recipients receiving funds within 120 days of submitting a completed application. The exact timing will depend on how quickly recipients complete their applications. Funding for all of the projects is no-year and therefore is available to DOE until fully expended.
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 Frank Rusco at (202) 512-3841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.