OMB issues stimulus guidance to agencies

Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag issued initial guidance to agencies on Wednesday for administering stimulus funds, providing information and requirements on financial reporting, risk management and contracting.

The 62-page memorandum was sent to agency and department heads, who were directed to distribute the guidance to personnel involved in economic recovery-related activity. Orszag said the policies must take effect immediately to carry out the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The memo focused in particular on requiring agencies to regularly submit spending and performance data to recovery.gov, the online clearinghouse that provides information on how the stimulus funds are spent.

"To deliver a Web site that allows citizens to hold the government accountable for every dollar spent, the law and guidance require federal agencies to implement mechanisms to accurately track, monitor and report on taxpayer funds," Orszag said.

On March 3, agencies must begin submitting weekly reports that include a breakdown of stimulus funding and a summary of major actions taken and future activities. By May 1, agencies must provide their individual recovery plans that outline broad recovery goals and coordinating efforts. On May 8, they must start submitting monthly financial reports that detail obligations, expenditures and other financial data.

For stimulus-related contracts, agencies will be required to post pre-solicitation and award notices for acquisitions under task and delivery order contracts on FedBizOpps, a requirement that goes beyond those in the Federal Acquisition Regulation. These notices, as well as award reporting in the Federal Procurement Data System, must be formatted specially to distinguish them as stimulus-related actions, the memo instructed.

For each contract or order more than $500,000, agencies must provide a summary of the contract or order, including a description of the required products and services, which then will be made public and linked to recovery.gov.

Orszag strongly urged agencies to used fixed-price contracts whenever possible and appropriate.

"Fixed-price contracts … provide maximum incentive for the contractor to control costs and perform effectively and impose a minimum burden upon the contracting parties," Orszag wrote. "These contracts expose the government to the least risk."

Orszag said OMB will issue more detailed guidance in the next month or two.

Agencies have been preparing to handle the billions of dollars they will receive from the economic recovery package. Jeffrey Olson, a spokesman for the National Park Service, which will receive about $750 million in stimulus funds, said the agency is "thrilled" to be able to put the money to use on construction and maintenance projects.

Olson said the agency closely followed the progress of the stimulus legislation, and he is confident NPS has the capacity to manage the infusion of money.

"This is a big boost for us," Olson said. "It will make us prove the capacity of our system; we do imagine there will have to be some temporary hires in the area of contracting, but far and away most of the money will go to individual companies that build roads, build water treatment plants and to the people who work for them."

The Small Business Administration also is mobilizing to manage the $730 million in stimulus funds for its lending and investment programs.

"There's a lot to digest in the legislation, and SBA has established teams to tackle a wide variety of policy decisions, system modifications, regulatory changes, legal requirements, and new program launches authorized by the president and Congress," said SBA acting Administrator Darryl K. Hairston in a statement on Wednesday.

A General Services Administration spokesman said the agency is "thrilled by this unique opportunity to be part of the solution to our nation's economic crisis" and is working on appointing a senior-level official to coordinate stimulus efforts.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.