Three USIBWC engineers, (l to r) John Merino, Gabriel Duran and Rod Dunlap, inspect the site of the levee rehabilitation financed by the ARRA. USIBWC Image
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009. It is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart the economy, create or save millions of jobs, and make a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the United States can thrive in the 21st century.
ARRA specifically identifies five goals as its purpose:
Of the total $787 billion appropriated for ARRA, the Department received $564 million. The Department will use ARRA funds to create and save jobs, repair and modernize domestic infrastructure crucial to the safety of American citizens, and expand consular services offered to American taxpayers. USAID received $38 million for immediate information technology security and upgrades to support mission-critical operations. Due to Agency IT priorities to maximize job creation with ARRA funds, USAID determined that the funding should be dedicated to the GLAAS project. GLAAS will bring increased efficiency and accountability to USAID’s procurement process by implementing a world-wide, web-based Acquisition and Assistance system.
Construction Projects. A Hard Skills Training Center for Diplomatic Security ($70 million) will be built within 150 miles of Washington, DC, and provide a centralized location to support all security-related training that is currently conducted at 15 locations throughout the United States. Passport Facilities ($15 million) will fund five new start-up sites and the renovation and expansion of two existing sites. The National Foreign Affairs Training Center ($5 million) will expand training capacity to ensure personnel assigned overseas have the necessary language and IT training. Projects include upgrading facility and grounds, updating orientation signage for the 72-acre campus, and upgrading infrastructure wiring and public address systems. An enterprise Data Center ($120 million) will be established in the western United States and consolidate all domestic servers into four enterprise data centers. The program will provide a highly available, scalable, and redundant data center infrastructure that will substantially reduce the Department’s risk and provide for future IT growth.
Information Technology Platform and Cyber Security. Funding ($132 million) will provide for new telephone systems, IT equipment, mobile communications for emergency situations, and projects to guard against and track cyber attacks. It will also be used to improve hardware security and testing, safeguard U.S. citizens’ cyber security, and expand cyber education.
Global Acquisition and Assistance System. GLAAS project funding ($38 million) contributes towards employing individuals in the Washington, DC area, the majority of whom are small business employees. Recovery Act funding will support procuring the staff and resources needed to successfully implement GLAAS. ARRA funding provides the ability to retain critical systems development staff to improve functionality and to hire much needed system trainers and help desk support staff. Upon implementation, GLAAS will allow USAID to increase opportunities targeted to new partners, small businesses, and local and indigenous organizations in support of the Agency’s mission.
International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC). These projects ($220 million) will evaluate and repair portions of the flood control systems for 495 miles of the upper and lower Rio Grande River, protecting about 3 million U.S. citizens in New Mexico and Texas. The projects consist of $213 million for construction and repair of levees, $6 million to rehabilitate contaminated soil and groundwater, and $1 million for other related projects.
Office of Inspector General. Funding ($2 million) will provide oversight of use of ARRA funds and ARRA projects by the Department.
For further information on ARRA, visit the Department of State OIG’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and USAID Information Related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.