GAO ARRA Oversight
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.
Treasury Handling Increased Debt Well, Challenges Remain, Reports GAO
Part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), involves regular Government Accountability Organization ( GAO ) investigation into national debt as managed by the Department of the Treasury. The most recent report , issued last month, is optimistic about the Treasury’s handling of national debt to this point. The combination of the economic crisis and subsequent government response increased the national debt significantly. The Treasury was able, in a short period of time, to fund necessary expenditures. The challenge for the Treasury now will be to transition the nations debt portfolio back to pre-recession status.
Davis-Bacon Delaying Some Recovery Act Programs
Last month, the Government Accountability Organization ( GAO ) released its analysis of the Davis-Bacon Act’s impact on Recovery Act implementation . Passed in 1931, Davis-Bacon requires federal contractors be paid a wage consummate with the prevailing local average. GAO found that, while most programs were unaffected, several are stalled due to wage rate analysis and payroll reporting requirements.
GAO Recovery Act State Report: California
Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office ( GAO ) released its report of California’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ( Recovery Act ) funding through February 2010. California has received a significant portion of Recovery Act funds. As of late February, California had received $85 billion, or 10%, of nationally available funds. That state also faces a budget deficit of $21 billion, or 25% of annual expenditures, and a state unemployment rate of 12.3%, well above the national average of 9.7%. The GAO examined Recovery Act funds state-wide, in the City of Los Angeles, County of Sacramento, and through several programs including Highway Infrastructure Investment, the Weatherization Assistance Program,. 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.