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Finance chief: Alabama ‘outperformed’ others in ARPA administration

During budget hearings last week, State Finance Director Bill Poole highlighted Alabama’s low administrative costs when spending the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated by the federal government.

The Legislature appropriated the first round of ARPA dollars last year, totaling $1.1 billion, and will decide how to spend the next round, another $1.1 billion, in the upcoming session.

“The state of Alabama has received no negative audit findings at this point on any ARPA funds,” Poole said. “Those funds were administered very quickly and very efficiently through the Department of Finance, to the receiving entity, and out to field.”

The finance director said the ARPA administrative costs in Alabama have been lower than seen in other states.

“The administrative costs, we believe, have been held to below 1% of total funds,” he said. “We believe we’ve outperformed potentially any state in the union in terms of that administrative cost limitation.

“A lot of states went out and hired consultants to come in and administer their programs.”

Poole said Alabamians should be “pleased” with how the state has administered the federal money.

“The funds were distributed pretty quickly, I think very efficiently from Finance out to the entities,” he said. “The reporting is occurring very efficiently to the U.S. Treasury. So I’m pleased that we’ve been able to accomplish that for very low administrative costs.

“I believe at this point you can be pleased with the efficiency and the effectiveness relative to the administration of these funds, as well of the transparency and traceability of the same.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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