On October 11, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) publicly released a report detailing the agency's findings on state and local government spending of the American Rescue Plan’s Act's (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF). This report is part of the ongoing work that the GAO has done to monitor the use of the federal funds to respond to the pandemic, a duty the agency was charged with in early COVID-19 relief legislation. The report’s data is current as of March 31, 2023. Highlights of GAO’s review include:
- All states reported obligating 60 percent ($118.3 billion) and spending 45 percent ($88.2 billion) of SLFRF awards received.
- Localities reported obligating 54 percent ($67.5 billion) and spending 38 percent ($47.9 billion) of their awards.
- States and localities reported spending the largest amount of their awards to replace revenue lost due to the pandemic. Specifically, 45 percent ($39.5 billion) of states’ reported spending and 68 percent ($32.4 billion) of localities’ reported spending was for this purpose.
- Approximately 14 percent of localities (roughly $3 billion in SLFRF awards collectively) did not submit a report to Treasury on their uses of funds through March 31, 2023, as required.
With the obligation deadline just over a year away and the spend deadline just over three years away, this report is timely and potentially eye-opening for SLFRF recipients. For more information and to download the report, click here.