Fed Agencies Scrambling to Meet ARRA Accountability Guidelines

June 11, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Federal agencies that will be called upon to be accountable for funds received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) may have a tough time keeping track of the money, according to a new survey.

A Kronos Incorporated news release said many agencies still rely on multiple systems to track and report on time and attendance and absenteeism, which the announcement said can lead to errors, inefficiencies, and missed opportunities to use data strategically. Most agencies have a limited ability to track contractors’ time and attendance information.

Many respondents to the Kronos poll about accounting for ARRA funds believe their agencies will need to overcome new challenges due to the bailout bill’s goals of accountability and transparency. A majority of respondents agree that accurate reporting is going to be key to successful agency operations when dealing with ARRA funds.

“The federal workforce is in a state of flux,” Kronos commented. “With a shift in focus on the use of contractors, upcoming retirements, and tightening budgets, agencies are tasked with more difficult decisions within a more demanding timeframe.”

Respondents indicated the questions and concerns uppermost on their minds regarding ARRA funds included:

  • How do we accurately track and report on the ways ARRA funds are used?
  • Can the information be audited?
  • How difficult is it to gather the information and quickly report it?
  • Is the funding spent on contracting resources as well as federal employees?

The announcement said 175 federal program managers participated in the survey.