Sneak Preview: FAA To Stress Accurate ARRA Job Data Reporting

April 4, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(The following was excerpted from the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) The Federal Aviation Administration plans to remind airport sponsors who submit American Recovery and Reinvestment Act reports about the importance of providing accurate job creation and retention estimates to address Department of Transportation concerns about reporting errors identified by its Office of Inspector General.

DOT appropriated $1.3 billion through the Recovery Act to two FAA accounts — $1.1 billion for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and $200 million for airport facilities and equipment (F&E). Section 1512 of the Recovery Act requires award recipients to report the estimated number of jobs created and retained each quarter. Section 1201 requires DOT Recovery Act grant recipients to periodically report specific job information, including the number of direct, on-project jobs created or sustained and the estimated number of jobs indirectly created or sustained in associated supplying industries.

While FAA has improved its overall reporting of job-related data since 2009, the OIG noted several areas that could be improved. For example, it found that 65 of 268 Section 1201 reports submitted by airport sponsors (i.e., cities, counties and airport authorities) contained errors. In addition, the number of jobs appearing in Section 1512 reports differed significantly from the number of jobs that could be calculated from the data in Section 1201 reports, even though the data covered the same period.

“While it is clear that ARRA-funded AIP and F&E projects have created or sustained jobs, the full extent of this accomplishment is unclear because of errors and inconsistencies in the collection and reporting of job information,” the OIG said, adding that the documentation at five out of the 10 airport sponsors it reviewed did not match the job hours reported. “While job reporting has improved over time, it is incumbent upon the agency and department to consider additional improvements that will accurately reflect the successes of the program as well as inform future job creation efforts.”

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