Looming stimulus reporting deadline focuses attention on need for rules and data standards.
A fall reporting deadline is turning up the heat on efforts to track and report billions of dollars in federal stimulus spending through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). States must submit their first stimulus spending reports to the federal Office of Management and Budget by Oct. 10, yet a number of technical and organizational hurdles could stand in the way.
The Obama administration's desire to quickly pump money into the crumbling U.S. economy meant that ARRA dollars started flowing before all the rules were in place. As the deadline draws nearer, public officials are confronting the task of providing unprecedented visibility into how ARRA funds are spent and what value they deliver.
The recent midyear conference of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers was dominated by stimulus funding and reporting issues -- including the need for clear reporting rules and data standards. And city and county officials say they're moving quickly to capture stimulus funds, but they worry about the eventual transparency and accountability requirements that will be attached to the money.
In this video, we talk to Minnesota CIO Gopal Khanna; Utah CIO Steve Fletcher; Harris County, Texas, CIO Steve Jennings; and others about the challenges of stimulus reporting.