Audit Report on "The Department of Energy's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- Florida State Energy Program"

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The Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) provides grants to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to support their energy priorities through the State Energy Program (SEP). The SEP provides Federal financial assistance to carry out energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that meet each state's unique energy needs while also addressing national goals such as energy security. Federal funding is based on a grant formula that takes into account population and energy consumption. The SEP emphasizes the state's role as the decision maker and administrator for the program. The American Recovery and Reinvestment ... continued below

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Creator: Unknown. June 1, 2010.

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The Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) provides grants to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to support their energy priorities through the State Energy Program (SEP). The SEP provides Federal financial assistance to carry out energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that meet each state's unique energy needs while also addressing national goals such as energy security. Federal funding is based on a grant formula that takes into account population and energy consumption. The SEP emphasizes the state's role as the decision maker and administrator for the program. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) expanded the SEP, authorizing $3.1 billion in grants. Based on existing grant formulas and after reviewing state-level plans, EERE made awards to states. The State of Florida's Energy Office (Florida) was allocated $126 million - a 90-fold increase over Florida's average annual SEP grant of $1.4 million. Per the Recovery Act, this funding must be obligated by September 30, 2010, and spent by April 30, 2012. As of March 10, 2010, Florida had expended $13.2 million of the SEP Recovery Act funds. Florida planned to use its grant funds to undertake activities that would preserve and create jobs; save energy; increase renewable energy sources; and, reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To accomplish Recovery Act objectives, states could either fund new or expand existing projects. As a condition of the awards, EERE required states to develop and implement sound internal controls over the use of Recovery Act funds. Based on the significant increase in funding from the Recovery Act, we initiated this review to determine whether Florida had internal controls in place to provide assurance that the goals of the SEP and Recovery Act will be met and accomplished efficiently and effectively. We identified weaknesses in the implementation of SEP Recovery Act projects that have adversely impacted Florida's ability to meet the goals of the SEP and the Recovery Act. Specifically: (1) Florida used about $8.3 million to pay for activities that did not meet the intent of the Recovery Act to create new or save existing jobs. With the approval of the Department, Florida used these funds to pay for rebates related to solar energy projects that had been completed prior to passage of the Recovery Act; (2) State officials did not meet Florida's program goals to obligate all Recovery Act funds by January 1, 2010, thus delaying projects and preventing them from achieving the desired stimulative economic impact. Obligations were delayed because Florida officials selected a number of projects that either required a lengthy review and approval process or were specifically prohibited. In June 2009, the Department notified Florida that a number of projects would not be approved; however, as of April 1, 2010, the State had not acted to name replacement projects or move funds to other projects; (3) Florida officials had not ensured that 7 of the 18 award requirements for Recovery Act funding promulgated by the Department had been passed down to sub-recipients of the award, as required; and, (4) Certain internal control weaknesses that could jeopardize the program and increase the risk of fraud, waste and abuse were identified in the Solar Energy System Incentives Program during our September 2009 visit to Florida. These included a lack of separation of duties related to the processing of rebates and deficiencies in the written procedures for grant managers to review and approve rebates. From a forward looking perspective, absent aggressive corrective action, these weaknesses threaten Florida's efforts to meet future Recovery Act goals. In response to our review, Florida took corrective action to incorporate the additional award requirements in sub-recipient documents. It also instituted additional controls to correct the internal control weaknesses we identified. More, however, needs to be done with respect to Department oversight. This report details the circumstances surrounding these program issues and outlines actions that, in our opinion, will help Florida achieve its SEP Recovery Act-funded goals.

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  • Report No.: OAS-RA-10-12
  • Grant Number: None
  • DOI: 10.2172/982252 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 982252
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1012944

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • June 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 24, 2017, 3:42 p.m.

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Audit Report on "The Department of Energy's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- Florida State Energy Program", report, June 1, 2010; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1012944/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.