Recovery Act: Recipient Reported Jobs Data Provide Some Insight into Use of Recovery Act Funding, but Data Quality and Reporting Issues Need Attention

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the report being issued today on the first set of recipient reports made available in October 2009 in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's section 1512 requirement. On October 30, Recovery.gov (the federal Web site on Recovery Act spending) reported that more than 100,000 recipients had reported hundreds of thousands of jobs created or retained. GAO is required to comment quarterly on the estimates of jobs created or retained as reported by direct recipients of Recovery Act funding from federal agencies. In the ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. November 19, 2009.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the report being issued today on the first set of recipient reports made available in October 2009 in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's section 1512 requirement. On October 30, Recovery.gov (the federal Web site on Recovery Act spending) reported that more than 100,000 recipients had reported hundreds of thousands of jobs created or retained. GAO is required to comment quarterly on the estimates of jobs created or retained as reported by direct recipients of Recovery Act funding from federal agencies. In the first quarterly GAO report, being released today, we address the following issues: (1) the extent to which recipients were able to fulfill their reporting requirements and the processes in place to help ensure recipient reporting data quality and (2) how macroeconomic data and methods, and the recipient reports, can be used to help gauge the employment effects of the Recovery Act. Because the recipient reporting effort will be an ongoing process of cumulative reporting, our review represents a snapshot in time. At this juncture, given the national scale of the recipient reporting exercise and the limited time frames in which it was implemented, the ability of the reporting mechanism to handle the volume of data from a wide variety of recipients represents a solid first step in moving toward more transparency and accountability for federal funds; however, there is a range of significant reporting and quality issues that need to be addressed. Consequently, our report contains several recommendations to improve data quality that Office of Management and Budget (OMB) staff generally agreed to implement. We will continue to review the processes that federal agencies and recipients have in place to ensure the future completeness and accuracy of data reported. Finally, our report notes that because the recipient reports cover about one-third of Recovery Act funds, both the data in those reports and other macroeconomic data and methods together can offer a more complete view of the overall employment impact of the Recovery Act."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • November 19, 2009

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Recovery Act: Recipient Reported Jobs Data Provide Some Insight into Use of Recovery Act Funding, but Data Quality and Reporting Issues Need Attention, text, November 19, 2009; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc294087/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.