We wanted to catch you up on two important reports about the stimulus that came out of the Inspector General community in recent weeks.
For a sobering account of capacity issues at the federal level in the administration and oversight of Recovery Act dollars, take a look at the Commerce Department Inspector General report about staffing issues for contracts and grants. The report, which included a comprehensive survey of other federal agencies, noted that 40 percent of respondents from the largest agencies thought Recovery Act staffing was inadequate, and another 45 percent said it was adequate but was reducing capacity to handle non-Recovery Act projects. For a journalistic account of the report, check out Government Executive’s March 12 article on the stress of the additional workload.
Details on the trials and tribulations of Recovery Act weatherization efforts came from the Inspector General of the Department of Energy about a month ago. The report provides a concise and readable account of the reasons weatherization plans were significantly delayed across the country, including the well-publicized issues that stemmed from Davis-Bacon Act wage requirements. The report also addresses multiple state and local capacity issues resulting from state budget shortfalls, hiring freezes and furloughs. If you’re interested in state comparisons, Appendix II shows how the states stack up against each other. As of February 16, 2010, Delaware, Mississippi and Ohio led the pack in terms of percentage of units completed.