Agencies Told To Spend Remaining Recovery Money
In a recent memo, the Office of Management and Budget told federal agencies to send out the remaining Recovery Act funds as quickly and efficiently as possible — or they could be returned to the federal treasury in two years.
OMB said “there remain billions in discretionary Recovery Act funds that, although they have been obligated, have not yet been outlayed. In light of the current economic situation and the need for further economic stimulus, it is critical that agencies spend these remaining funds as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
In fact, if those funds have not been spent by September 30, 2013, agencies will reclaim them.
Agencies should work with grant recipients, OMB said, to accelerate the spending rate for all awarded funds while still achieving core programmatic objectives. Agencies are encouraged to reduce administrative hurdles that can delay expenditure of funds, as well as decrease delays between the receipt of invoices and the outlay of funds.
Federal agencies can request waivers from the 2013 deadline in cases where contractual commitments by the grantee with vendors or subrecipients prevent adjusting the timeline or where project completion may not be possible (such as in large transportation projects).
To accomplish this accelerated pace, agencies will be amending current grant award agreements and adding these deadline requirements to new grant agreements.
OMB memo M-11-34 is available here.