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 Health and Human Services' FY22 appropriations included $1.3 billion for 901 of these projects.
We looked at when HHS 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.
HHS: Where did the FY 2022 funding go?
What GAO Found
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 appropriated about $1.3 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for 901 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 HHS expects recipients will have access to the funds:
The intended uses of these funds are to support a wide variety of projects, including upgrading health facilities, supporting mental and behavioral health programs, improving water and sanitation infrastructure, and supporting programs to reduce family poverty.
The designated recipients of these funds are mostly higher education and other nonprofit organizations. The remaining recipients are tribal, state, territorial, and local governments. Funding ranged from $15,000 to $76 million.
HHS plans to obligate all of the funds to recipients by the end of September 2022 and the amount of time recipients will have to spend the funds will vary by HHS agency.
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 Michelle Rosenberg at (202) 512-7114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.