I’d like to get responses from all levels of government on these questions…
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, (a.ka. “ARRA of 2009”) is in the throws of having $825 billions distributed and plans implemented.
My cabinet agency is responsible for administering $16.3 billion in assistance, which does not include the $3.92 billion we encumbered in fiscal year 2008 for the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NSP). In my cabinet agency it all goes to programs and specific types of assistance.
I understand everyone doesn’t work in an oversight and compliance capacity within government, but the impact of how effectively and diligently these funds are administered will create a perception about all of government’s ability to administer and oversee monies and services for the good of the country.
If you look around to any of the job search sites, the mention of federal hiring looms as one of the paths out of the recession.
Do you believe our current federal, state, and local government staffing levels are sufficient and fully prepared to oversee these funds and all of the projects funded?
How do you feel the “new” hiring coupled with immense expenditure of ARRA of 2009 funds will impact your agency’s ability to apply the appropriate level of programmatic review and due diligence on the activities you oversee?
I’d like to get responses from all levels of government…
Kenneth, I’m just a taxpayer, but I think the answer to your question “Do you believe our current federal, state, and local government staffing levels are sufficient and fully prepared to oversee these funds and all of the projects funded?” is “No.”
I think to manage this “surge” effectively you need to get more people involved in the process. That means opening up the process of proposing, reviewing, awarding, spending, and overseeing to involvement to more people than might have been involved in the past. Not everyone is comfortable with that, but I don’t think there’s any other way around it since you’ll never automate handling the surge in funding 100%.
This subject was discussed at an interesting webinar I attended last week that I wrote up on my blog:
“How Will U.S. Government Procurement Processes Handle the Stimulus Spending Surge?”
One possibility would be to temporarily tap into the knowledge and skills of retired Federal contracting officers; some private corporations are using social networking technologies to access the expertise of retirees, as described here:
“Is My Dow Network a Social Network?”
My concern also has more to do with measuring and reporting how the money is spent and to what effect. To that end I’m doing a mini-survey of how individual states are providing access to details of how stimulus money is being spent in their states; the beginings of this survey are described here:
Dennis McDonald, Ph.D.
Email: [email protected]