May 5, 2012
The Department of Energy's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – Washington State Energy Program
The Department of Energy's (Department) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) provides grants to states, territories and the District of Columbia (states) to support various energy priorities through the State Energy Program (SEP). In total, EERE allocated about $3.1 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) grant funds to the states. The Washington State Department of Commerce (WSDC) was granted $60.9 million in SEP Recovery Act grant funds to invest in state-level energy efficiency and renewable energy priorities. As part of the Office of Inspector General's strategy for reviewing the Department's implementation of the Recovery Act, we initiated this review to determine whether WSDC's use of Recovery Act funds was in accordance with Federal requirements and the Department's SEP grant. The audit concluded that WSDC had, for the most part, used SEP grant funds in accordance with Federal requirements and the Department's SEP grant. However, we identified several issues that need to be addressed to ensure that WSDC and its subrecipients fully comply with requirements and that the goals of the Recovery Act are met. Specifically, 2 of the 10 projects reviewed did not provide adequate support for invoices totaling $646,633 in travel expenses, professional services and other expenses; and, sub-grantees inconsistently reported jobs created or retained through the Recovery Act funding. Finally, we noted that WSDC was unlikely to expend all of its Recovery Act funding for SEP projects by the original April 30, 2012, grant deadline.