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Audit Initiated of DOT’s Management of the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program

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The COVID-19 pandemic decimated the aviation industry worldwide due to idled aircraft, declining aircraft maintenance and repair activity, and employee lay-offs at many associated businesses. In response, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 established the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection (AMJP) program in March 2021. To support the program, the ARP Act allocated $3 billion in funding for eligible aviation manufacturing companies through 2023. Program funds were for companies engaged in aviation manufacturing and services, maintenance, repair, and overhaul activities to continue paying employee wages, salaries, and benefits. A key stipulation of this program is that a company must have involuntarily furloughed or laid off at least 10 percent of its workforce or experienced a 15-percent decline in revenues in 2020, compared to 2019. As of February 2022, after the latest round of distributions, 593 companies received over $673 million from DOT’s AMJP program. Additionally, AMJP program applicants are required to self-certify the data they submit, potentially leaving the program vulnerable to fraud and abuse. Accordingly, our objective is to evaluate DOT’s processes to validate AMJP applicant data, allocate government funding, and ensure funding was used lawfully.