ARRA Implementation Issues
Revenue Shortfalls Continue to Impact Local Governments Budgets, Decrease Expected in Intergovernmental Funding
CB&H’s Inaugural Government Benchmarking Study highlights concerns with budget shortfalls and intergovernmental dependency Depressed economic conditions and rising federal deficits continue to have a profound impact on local governmental entities, according to a new survey of government financial and operational leaders throughout the Southeast. Yet despite revenue shortfalls, 59% of respondents state that the position of their board/commission on property tax is to maintain the current tax rate and reduce the cost of services. Only 3% plan to raise taxes in order to balance the budget. The study, sponsored by Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, L.L.P. (CB&H) , identifies a number of significant trends on a wide range of timely. Read More.
GAO Report: ARRA Investment Will Change Shape as Recovery Continues
The Government Accountability Organization (GAO) released its latest in the series transparency reviews for State and Local administration of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). So far, 41 percent, or $114.8 billion, of funds have been paid out by the federal government. Investment so far has fallen largely to Health and Education initiatives. GAO expects the remaining 60 percent of funding to show greater increases in transportation, community development, energy and environment initiatives. Health Care As of the late-may report, the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) has paid out $12.7 billion, 92 percent of allocated funds in the first half of 2010. Funding continues to go toward plugging. Read More.
NASACT’s February 2010 Newsletter Reports on ARRA Issues
The National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers ( NASACT ) report included two articles on American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) implementation , and can be accessed by clicking here. The first, entitled Second ARRA Reporting Period Concludes, Issues Remain, cites that “frustration remains for states over federal agency guidance that differs from the overarching guidance provided to recipients by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Fear over more discrepancies in the future is causing further concern among reporting entities.” The article goes on to present examples of confusing guidance. The second article notes the February 10th issuance by the Government Accountability Office ( GAO ) of its report,. Read More.
Recovery Act Projects Slow to Award, Start Due to Federal Requirements
T he Government Accountability Office ( GAO ), the Recovery Act watchdog agency, released a report this month examining various requirements and other factors affecting the Act’s implementation. The survey covers 27 federal agencies in 16 states and the District of Columbia , all accounting for two thirds of Recovery assistance. Of the $787 billion in spending and tax provisions, 63 percent has been obligated by the agencies. Several requirements are effecting both the selection and start of various projects. The Davis-Bacon Act Passed in 1931, Davis-Bacon requires federal contractors be paid a wage consummate with the prevailing local average. In the case of Department of Energy, this has slowed the Weatherization Assistance. Read More.
GAO Update: State Stimulus Spending Through November
The Government Accountability Office ( GAO ) has released its November report on State and Locality usage of funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ( ARRA ). As of November 27, 2009, one quarter of the approximately $280 billion allocated to state and local government had been paid out. Most states report using the funds to cover budget gaps and retain jobs. The majority of this funding has been drawn down through Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) and the Department of Education’s State Fiscal Stabilization Fund ( SFSF ). States have used 97 percent ($27.3 billion), of the allocated 2009 FMAP Grants. Medicaid spending has been. Read More.
GAO Audit Report on Transparency Board and State Procurement Recovery Act Performance
The Government Accountability Office ( GAO ) recently released its regular performance audit for state and local administration of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ( ARRA ) funds. The report is a combination of new information gathered on the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board ( the Board ), and existing information gathered through bimonthly audits of state administration. Findings covered the extent to which the Board is monitoring Recovery Act-related federal contract spending and the success of states to maintain competitive procedures when awarding Recovery Act contracts. Approximately 35 percent of proposed stimulus funding has been administered to date. Approximately $300 billion will be administered through federal contracts, overseen by. Read More.