LITTLE ROCK, Ark. and WASHINGTON - 28 Apr 2009: The State of Arkansas will be the first to implement real-time technology to monitor its spending of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding grants. IBM technology will be used to track stimulus funds and meet federal requirements, part of the state's effort to ensure effective use of stimulus resources for improving education programs.
Over the next six months, the Arkansas Department of Education is scheduled to receive up to $569.9 million in stimulus funding. The money will be distributed to the state's local education agencies for public school education, specifically to increase students' academic performance, narrow the achievement gap, provide targeted services for low-income students and those with disabilities, create facilities that promote student learning, and expand the use of technology.
With billions of federal dollars on the way, local governments throughout the U.S., as well as federal agencies, are seeking new and improved methods to quickly disburse and track the largest government spending program in decades. To meet the challenge -- and established federal law requirements -- the Arkansas Department of Education has contracted to use IBM's Economic Recovery Fund Tracking technology to quickly monitor and analyze the effectiveness of economic recovery spending programs.
The State of Arkansas has also established a website www.recovery.arkansas.gov to track spending and results. Plans are to incorporate the school information into a reporting system that is both accessible and easy to understand by Arkansas citizens.
"The ability to quickly monitor, control, and report on stimulus grants is critical to generating the most benefit to citizens, and ensuring transparency and accountability," said Gerry Mooney, IBM General Manager, Government. "Advances in financial management technology can play a crucial role in helping governmental organizations manage spending in real-time and demonstrate that their programs are having a positive impact in their community."
Funding requirements in the ARRA include unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability to ensure efficient and effective use of resources, including a Recovery Board and built-in measures to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending. Recipients of federal dollars will be expected to report their use of funding within ten days of October 10, 2009, a requirement that will test government organizations' ability to maintain complete visibility into each dollar allocated and spent, and report back on progress in a timely and accurate fashion.
IBM Economic Recovery Fund Tracking Technology
The IBM web-based technology dashboard combines the latest business intelligence and performance management technologies, together with access to financial management experts with government experience, to help clients quickly monitor funding effectiveness, track jobs creation, and analyze the overall success of economic recovery spending programs. The solution enables government managers, governors, mayors, and federal agency leaders the ability to track individual program performance against allocated budgets, and adjust plans accordingly to ensure optimal delivery. For example, if an education project has reached 56 percent completion but the managing agency has already spent 66 percent of the economic recovery funds, the system will immediately alert program managers.
The solution is intended to be used by State and Local, and Federal, government managers responsible for identifying initiatives and pinpointing economic recovery funds, as well as those tasked with executing, measuring and reporting on complex programs.
The technology solution is based on secure, open software that enables a completely integrated exchange of spending information online in order to:
IBM is working with more than 2,000 Federal, State and Local government agencies -- including eight of the largest cities in the United States, and 31 of the 50 U.S. states -- as well as international governments and organizations, to improve financial management systems and business processes.
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