The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided over $40 billion to the Department of Labor (DOL) in four areas:
- Unemployment benefits - $35 billion (estimated),
- Employment and Training - $4.5 billion
- Job Corps construction and rehabilitation - $250 million, and
- Departmental oversight - $80 million.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) received a separate appropriation of $6 million to carry out oversight activities of the expenditure of these funds.
The OIG’s plan for oversight is to conduct work in phases over the period during which Recovery Act funds will be expended. Click here for an addendum to the OIG's FY 2009 audit work plan, which describes the ARRA-related audits it plans to conduct.
Phase one will address how DOL is planning its administration and oversight. This will include assessing how DOL will account for Recovery Act funds, provide guidance to states and grantees, establish performance measures for Recovery activities, and develop required reporting.
Phase two will focus on how DOL awards funds to grantees and contractors. Of the
$4.5 billion in grants, approximately $3.5 billion is formula and $1 billion is discretionary. Formula funds must be awarded by March 19, 2009. Discretionary funds must be awarded by June 30, 2010. The OIG will look particularly at how discretionary grants are selected. During this phase the OIG will also review contract award decisions by Job Corps.
Phase three will assess how grantees and contractors performed and what was accomplished with Recovery Act funding. Formula grant funds must generally be spent by 2011, while discretionary grant funds will generally be spent through 2013. The OIG will audit states' utilization and accounting for the Federal share of unemployment benefits. Funding for unemployment benefits is through December 2009. Finally, the OIG will audit construction and rehabilitation contracts awarded by Job Corps. Job Corps funding is available through June 2010. This phase will also include a review of DOL's oversight of grantees and contractors.
In order to immediately provide oversight of DOL funds, the OIG has assigned a team of OIG auditors to this task. The OIG intends to award one or more contracts in FY 2009 to have independent audit firms take over a significant portion of the Recovery Act audit work. The OIG will be issuing these contract awards as judiciously as possible while ensuring compliance with all Federal Acquisition Regulations. In addition, the OIG plans to hire 2 full-time auditors to oversee these contracts as well as supervise work the OIG will conduct with its own appropriation.
OIG Plans and Reports
DOL’s Recovery Website This site details DOL’s progress of implementing the Act along with required reporting by the Department