Economic Stimulus Checklist: A guide for federal managers

The 62-page Office of Management and Budget memorandum guiding initial implementation of the $787 billion economic stimulus package is likely to give even the most conscientious managers a headache. And this is just the first set of directions the administration plans to distribute. To help you get your ducks in a row before the next memorandum arrives, we've compiled a checklist of reporting requirements for the next three months, organized by deadline. We will update this list in three-month increments until Sept. 30, 2010, the date by which the majority of funds must be obligated.

Immediate Requirements

Feb. 13: Name a senior official to oversee agencywide stimulus spending.
Feb. 25: Establish unique Treasury appropriation fund symbols (TAFS) to distinguish Recovery Act spending from other spending.
Feb. 25: Create a Recovery Act page within your agency's regular Web site. The page should link to recovery.gov and serve as a portal to all agency-specific information related to the law.
Ensure all stimulus funds are separate from non-Recovery Act funds in financial systems, business systems (grant- and contract-writing systems) and reporting systems.
Decide which major announcements are appropriate for posting on recovery.gov. More details are available in Section 2.2 and Appendix 1 of OMB's Feb. 18 guidance.
Plan to submit apportionment requests to OMB expeditiously.
Provide details on formula block grant allocations as soon as information is available. For more details, see Section 2.3 and Appendix 1 of OMB's Feb. 18 guidance.
Review the risk framework provided in Chapter 3 of OMB's Feb. 18 guidance. Identify risks specific to your agency that are not listed in Chapter 3, prioritize risk areas and begin risk mitigation activities.
Publish pre-solicitation and award notices for stimulus-related contracts and task and delivery orders on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site. The entries should be formatted to distinguish stimulus-related awards from other activities.
Decide whether it will be necessary to procure goods and services from other agencies using interagency agreements, and plan accordingly.
Ensure all contract and award documents include clauses to clarify that recipients are legally obligated to meet 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act reporting requirements.
Request an expedited Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for new Recovery Act grant or loan programs or existing ones affected by the stimulus package, and plan to modify program descriptions for the next round of publication.
Identify opportunities to streamline data collection and help alleviate the reporting burden on recipients of Recovery Act funds.
Publish funding opportunity notices and/or funding allocation information on govloans.gov.
Begin including Recovery Act awards in USASpending.gov files. All awards must be reported, but amounts can be aggregated if they're less than $25,000. Details are available in Section 2.6 of OMB's Feb. 18 guidance. All awards must be reported in this format starting on May 5.
Provide a summary -- including a description of the required products and services -- for each contract or task order worth more than $500,000. The summary should be linked to recovery.gov and will be posted on a special section of the site unless the contract or task order is both fixed price and competitively awarded.

March 2009

March 3: Submit first weekly report on stimulus spending to OMB. The report should cover activity through Feb. 27 and include: total appropriations; total obligations; and a short, bulleted list of major actions to date and major planned actions. Expenditure data is optional. Details are available in Section 2.4 of OMB's Feb. 18 guidance.
March 9: Publish stimulus-related funding opportunities on grants.gov.
March 10: Second weekly spending report is due, covering activity through March 6. Expenditure data is optional.
March 15: Begin identifying agency computer systems that collect or will collect significant information from recipients of stimulus funds, but are currently unable to make this information available to the public. Report them to OMB's e-government office.
March 17: Third weekly spending report due, covering activity through March 13. Expenditure data is optional.
March 19: Link grants.gov synopsis to full announcement of funding opportunities on your agency's Web site.
March 24: Fourth weekly spending report due, covering activity through March 20. Expenditure data is optional.
March 31: Fifth weekly spending report due, covering activity through March 27. Expenditure data is optional.

April 2009

April 7: Sixth weekly spending report is due, covering activity through April 3. Expenditure data must be included from this date forward.
April 14: Seventh weekly spending report is due, covering activity through April 10.
April 21: Eighth weekly spending report is due, covering activity through April 17.
April 28: Ninth weekly spending report is due, covering activity through April 24.

May 2009

May 1: Agencywide stimulus plans are due to OMB. These should include broad goals and plans for coordination. Details on requirements are available in Section 2.7 of OMB's Feb. 18 guidance. Post related information on your agency's Web site as soon as possible.
May 1: Program-specific stimulus plans are due to OMB. Details on requirements are available in Section 2.8 of OMB's Feb. 18 guidance. Publish relevant information on your agency's Web site as soon as possible.
May 5: Tenth weekly spending report due, covering activity through May 1.
May 5: Begin providing all Recovery Act assistance transactions (grants, loans and loan guarantees) and contract awards in the standard format currently used for USASpending.gov. All contracts and task orders must be reported, but they can be aggregated for amounts less than $25,000. Plan how you would do this more frequently, if required, and figure out how to retroactively identify any Recovery Act awards submitted before May 5.
May 8: Submit first monthly financial report. For details on what should be included, see Section 2.5 of OMB's Feb. 18 guidance.
May 12: Submit first monthly report on allocations of all mandatory and other entitlement programs by state, county or other appropriate geographical unit. Further guidance is on the way, according to OMB.
May 12: Last weekly spending report is due, covering activity through May 8.
Coming Soon: June, July, August
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