The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be hosting webinars next week to give guidance for reporting spending data from funds received from the economic stimulus package.
Scheduled for July 20-23, topics in the series include general information, the reporting process, technology solutions and data quality requirements. Online registration is available on the OMB Web site.
The first quarterly reporting deadline for state and local governments is Oct. 10. Recipients of stimulus money will be required to upload detailed data via Excel spreadsheets or Extensible Markup Language (XML) to FederalReporting.gov, which is yet to be launched. Reporting requirements will drill down to the level of subrecipients, subgrantees and subcontracts. This extra level of reporting will make the process more complicated, grants management administrators say.
The $787 billion Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama contains billions of dollars for technology, including $7.2 billion for building broadband capability in underserved and "unserved" regions, and $20 billion for health-care IT, among other appropriations for renewable energy, high-speed rail lines and the development of "smart" electricity grids. Much of the funds tied to technology haven't been disbursed yet.
The OMB wrote detailed reporting requirements in an effort to decrease wasteful expenditures and improve transparency for the public.