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 Justice's FY22 appropriations included $296.5 million for 368 of these projects.
This report looks at when DOJ 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.
DOJ: Where did the FY 2022 funding go?
What GAO Found
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 appropriated approximately $296.5 million to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for 368 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 DOJ expects recipients will have access to the funds.
The intended uses of these funds are for policing services and justice programs. Examples of projects include upgrading radio systems and providing body-worn cameras.
The designated recipients of these funds are mostly tribal, state, and local governments. The remaining recipients include higher education and other nonprofit organizations. Funding is up to about $8.2 million, with a median amount of funds per grant of $500,000.
DOJ plans to obligate funds by December 2022 and how long recipients will have to spend the funds will vary by program.
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 Gretta L. Goodwin (202) 512-8777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.