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American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009

Signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009, the Recovery Act had three immediate goals: create new jobs and save existing ones, spur economic activity and invest in long-term growth, and foster unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability. To ensure that accountability requirements are being met, the Inspectors General of 28 federal agencies distributing Recovery funds continually review their agencies' management of these funds.

Five Department of Commerce bureaus—the Census Bureau, Economic Development Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and National Telecommunications and Information Administration—and the Office of Inspector General received $7.9 billion under the Recovery Act, with $1.2 billion ultimately rescinded or transferred to other agencies. As of September 30, 2013, the Department had obligated and disbursed almost all of the approximately $6.7 billion remaining.
(The disbursal amount includes funding for the now-completed NTIA Digital Television Converter Box Coupon Program.)  

The following is an account of OIG's Recovery Act activities.

Plans

Date Title
10.01.2012 OIG Recovery Act Agency and Program Oversight Plan (FY 2013)
10.01.2011 OIG Recovery Act Agency and Program Oversight Plan (FY 2012)
10.01.2010 OIG Recovery Act Agency and Program Oversight Plan (FY 2011)
10.01.2009 OIG Recovery Act Agency and Program Oversight Plan (FY 2010)
06.01.2009 OIG Recovery Act Agency and Program Oversight Plan (FY 2009)
03.02.2009 Initial OIG Oversight of the Recovery Act

Reports

Date Title
06.25.2014 Excess Equipment, Weaknesses in Inventory, Management, and Other Issues in BTOP Infrastructure Projects: OIG-14-023-A
12.20.2013 Closeout Procedures for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Need Strengthening: OIG-14-010-A
01.31.2013 Proper Classification and Strengthened Monitoring of Subrecipients Are Needed for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program: OIG-13-013-A
08.09.2012 Review of NTIA's Oversight of the Booz Allen Hamilton Contract Supporting the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program: OIG-12-031-M
06.18.2012 NTIA Needs Stronger Monitoring of BTOP Grant Recipients' Match: OIG-12-029-A
06.01.2012 Oversight Activities of NIST's Recovery Act Construction Contracts Need Improvement: OIG-12-028-A
02.14.2012 Oversight Activities of NIST's Recovery Act Construction Grant Awards Are Generally Effective but Need Improvements: OIG-12-020-A
01.10.2012 Misrepresentations Regarding Project Readiness, Governance Structure Put at Risk the Success of the San Francisco Bay Area Wireless Enhanced Broadband (BayWEB) Project: OIG-12-016-M
11.17.2011 NTIA Has an Established Foundation to Oversee BTOP Awards, but Better Execution of Monitoring Is Needed: OIG-12-013-A
07.29.2011 Commerce Has Procedures in Place for Recovery Act Recipient Reporting, but Improvements Should Be Made: OIG-11-031-A
05.06.2011 Review of BTOP Award for the San Francisco Bay Area Wireless Enhanced Broadband (BayWEB) Project: OIG-11-024-A  
04.08.2011 2010 Census: Cooperation Between Partnership Staff and Local Census Office Managers Challenged by Communication and Coordination Problems: OIG-11-023-I
03.25.2011 Commerce Needs to Strengthen Its Improper Payment Practices and Reporting: OIG-11-021-A  
11.04.2010 Broadband Program Faces Uncertain Funding, and NTIA Needs to Strengthen Its Post-Award Operations: OIG-11-005-A
09.10.2010 Review of Recovery Act Contracts and Grants Workforce Staffing and Qualifications at Department of Commerce: ARR-19900
05.21.2010 NIST & NOAA Monitor Their Recovery Act Programs, but Performance Metrics Need to Measure Outcomes: ARR-19881
04.08.2010 NTIA Must Continue to Improve its Program Management and Pre-Award Process for its Broadband Grants Program: ARR-19842
03.10.2010 Review of Contracts and Grants Workforce Staffing and Qualifications in Agencies Overseeing Recovery Act Funds
12.22.2009 More Automated Processing by Commerce Bureaus Would Improve Recovery Act Reporting: ARR-19779
10.30.2009 Commerce Has Implemented Operations to Promote Accurate Recipient Reporting, but Improvements Are Needed: ARR-19847
10.28.2009 Improvements Recommended for Commerce Pre-Award Guidance and NIST and NOAA Processes for Awarding Grants: ARR-19841
05.08.2009 Commerce Experience with Past Relief and Recovery Initiatives Provides Best Practices and Lessons Learned on How to Balance Expediency with Accountability: ARR-19692
03.31.2009 NTIA Should Apply Lessons Learned from Public Safety Interoperable Communications Program to Ensure Sound Management and Timely Execution of $4.7 Billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program: ARR-19583

Audits Initiated

Date Title
03.18.2014 Announcement of Audit of BTOP Public Computer Centers
02.14.2014 Announcement of Review of BTOP Inventory Excess

Congressional Testimony and Correspondence

Date Title
01.23.2014 Letter to Representatives Walden, Gardner, and Tipton re: Review of NTIA's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Grant to EAGLE-Net Alliance of Colorado
02.27.2013 Principal Asst. IG for Audits and Evaluations Testimony on Broadband Stimulus: House Energy and Commerce Committee
01.23.2013 Letter to Representatives Walden and Shimkus re: Review of NTIA's BTOP Grant Award to the Executive Office of the State of West Virginia
05.16.2012 IG's Testimony on Broadband Loans and Grants: House Energy and Commerce Committee
11.30.2011 IG's Testimony on Stimulus Oversight: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
02.10.2011 IG's Testimony on Recovery Act Broadband Spending: House Committee on Energy and Commerce
02.09.2011 IG's Testimony on FY 2012 Commerce Appropriations/Top Management Challenges: House Committee on Appropriations
10.20.2010 Letter to RATB Chair Devaney re: Commerce OIG's General Approach to Recovery Act Oversight
07.30.2010 Letter to Representative Issa re: Federal Requirements for Recovery Act Signage
02.19.2010 Letter to Senator Pryor re: Recovery Act Oversight Activities
01.22.2010 Letter to Senators Mikulski and Shelby re: Status of NTIA Broadband Program
03.19.2009 IG's Testimony on Recovery Act Oversight: House Committee on Science and Technology

Introduction

Since March 2009, OIG's Recovery Act Task Force and Office of Investigations have conducted more than 125 on site and video training sessions and briefings related to the mitigation of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement of Recovery Act funding. This extensive national effort has reached a combined audience of over 6,400 Department of Commerce employees involved in procurement, grants, and programs as well as current and potential recipients of Recovery Act grants from five of the Department's bureaus: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Economic and Statistics Administration/Bureau of the Census, Economic Development Administration (EDA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Descriptions and links to slideshows and training topics follow below.

Click here to download OIG's Hotline poster.  

Training Topics and Slide Presentations

The six training topics developed and delivered by OIG staff address grants and contract management and fraud prevention. Two others—construction cost estimating and suspension and debarment—were created and presented by private contractors. In addition to their focus on transparency and accountability, all briefings emphasize whistleblower protections and encourage reporting to OIG of concerns about the use of Recovery Act funds.

Federal government employees and the public are invited to view the training slide presentations provided below.

Grants and Contract Management

Date Title
01.10.2011 Transparency and Accountability in Broadband Grants (co-presented with NTIA)
01.10.2011 Transparency and Accountability in Contract Management
01.10.2011 Transparency and Accountability in Grants Management
01.10.2011 First-Time Grantee Workshop

Fraud Prevention

Date Title
01.10.2011 Fraud Prevention Training

Additional Trainings and Workshops (descriptions only)

Date Title
01.10.2011 Introduction to Federal Suspension and Debarment
01.10.2011 Construction Cost Estimating Workshop

Recovery Act Task Force

Susan Roy

Project Lead
404.730.2063
sroy@oig.doc.gov

Chris Rose

Broadband Technology
Opportunities Program
202.482.5558
crose@oig.doc.gov

Johnny Dawsey

Construction Contracts & Grants
404.730.2056
jdawsey@oig.doc.gov

Vacant

Census

Dan Coney

Fraud Awareness & Prevention
303.312.7682
dconey@oig.doc.gov

OIG Senior Leadership

Todd Zinser

Inspector General
202.482.4661

Dave Smith

Deputy Inspector General
202.482.4661

Wade Green, Jr.

Counsel
202.482.5992

Ann Eilers

Principal Assistant Inspector General
for Audit & Evaluation
202.482.2754

Rick Beitel

Principal Assistant Inspector General
for Investigations
202.482.0300