State Auditor Elaine Howle
California’s auditor is closely scrutinizing how the state is spending its federal stimulus dollars, and the Energy Commission is feeling the heat.
The State Auditor says the California Energy Commission is not prepared to administer $226 million in stimulus funds expected to be distributed through state energy programs.
The auditor claims the Energy Commission has been “slow in developing guidelines, issuing requests for proposals and implementing internal controls.” The auditor, as part of its report to state lawmakers on stimulus spending, says the Energy Commission has only approved $40 million in contracts — or about one-fifth of the funding allocated for energy-related programs in the state.
The Energy Commission says it takes overseeing the money as a major responsibility, demanding public input for potential recipients and stakeholders. The commission also says much of the $226 million will be allocated by April, easily meeting the Sept. 30 federal deadline.