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Audit Initiated of FAA’s Oversight of CRRSA Act and ARPA COVID Relief Grant Funds

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The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation (CRRSA) Act and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)—the second and third coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) relief acts—awarded $10 billion in economic relief to eligible U.S. airports and concessions at those airports to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To distribute these funds, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established the (1) Airport Coronavirus Response Grant Program (ACRGP) for CRRSA Act and (2) Airport Rescue Grants for ARPA and has issued more than 630 airport concession relief grants and more than 4,100 economic relief grants. By the end of fiscal year 2023, FAA had expended more than $8.1 billion in grants to airports for such purposes as capital expenditures, operating expenses (including payroll and utilities), debt payments, and concessionaire rent relief.
In a prior audit we conducted of FAA’s award and oversight of funds appropriated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, we identified weaknesses in FAA’s policies and procedures for monitoring the relief funds that we determined contributed to more than $271 million in unsupported costs, $85 million in questioned costs, and $3 million of improper payments. We are initiating this audit because of those issues and the importance of promoting effective stewardship of the significant funds allocated to FAA via CRRSA Act and ARPA. Our audit objectives are to assess FAA's oversight of airport sponsors' compliance with CRRSA Act and ARPA (1) rent relief requirements and (2) economic relief reimbursement eligibility requirements.