Unprecedented accountability and transparency requirements are included in the ARRA. To meet these requirements, the government has set up a website (www.recovery.gov) that will list each recipient of funds and project details.
A large majority of the funds proposed in the bill will be allocated through existing federal programs, formulas and competitive grants. There are no earmarks in the final bill. ARRA contains provisions that require disclosure and certification by certain parties for projects funded by the bill, and all expenditures will be posted on the Internet.
All announcements of contract and grant competitions and awards, as well as formula grant allocations must be posted on the recovery.gov website. It includes the names of agency personnel to contact with concerns about infrastructure projects.
Public notice of funding must include a description of the investment funded, the purpose, the total cost, and why recovery dollars should be used. Governors, mayors, or other officials making funding decisions must personally certify that the investment has been fully vetted and is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. A Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board will be created to review management of recovery funds and provide early warning of problems.
Here are several resources counties may utilize to help navigate the reporting process and its requirements:
Counties may refer to the FAQs on www.recovery.gov/?q=content/recipient-reporting for questions answered by the White House Office of Management and Budget. An update to the FAQs is expected around August 14 and will include sample reports filled out by various agencies demonstrating model report submissions.
Counties can review the recording and presentations from NACo’s July 16 Recovery Act Reporting Webinar at www.naco.org/webinars.
NACo has tentatively scheduled an additional webinar for Thursday, September 17, 2009, 2:00pm Eastern time, to provide updated information to assist counties preparing to meet the reporting deadline. Registration and additional information will be out shortly.