The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been watching the use of transportation funds provided by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). Here are some of their major findings.
-Bids for projects have often come in lower than expected because of the number of contractors looking for work.
-State selection of distressed areas to receive priority for stimulus projects may be based on criteria other than those specified in ARRA.
-States are emphasizing pavement rehabilitation and repair because these projects require less design work and environmental review.
-States are modifying their systems to track stimulus funds.
-States are concerned about the ability of other funding recipients to track stimulus funds.
-States may have trouble complying with the requirement to not reduce their levels of effort in areas covered by ARRA because of fiscal constraints (and the temptation to not put money where you have money).
-States vary in how they intend to assess the impact of stimulus funds, but many are concerned about hot to assess the impact on jobs.
You can find out more about these findings from these GAO reports:
Recover Act: Initial Results on States’ Use of and Accountability for Transportation Funds (GAO-09-597T)
Recovery Act: States’ and Localities’ Current and Planned Uses of Funds while Facing Fiscal Stress (GAO-09-831T)
Recover Act: States’ Use of Highway Infrastructure Funds and Compliance with the Act’s Requirements (GAO-09-926T)