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Diplomacy in Action

Sidebar on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services
November 16, 2012


State Department's Role in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Of the total $787 billion appropriated for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, the Department received $562 million for projects and $2 million for the Office of Inspector General. The Department is using 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. Details about specific projects and a complete description of the Department's ARRA implementation plan are posted on the Web at

Construction Projects - Through funding ($15 million), the Department expanded its network of passport agencies to address public demand for travel documents in previously underserved areas of the country. All new passport facilities are open and operational. These include Atlanta, Georgia; Buffalo, New York; El Paso, Texas; San Diego, California; and St. Albans, Vermont. New counters are now in use at the Passport Centers in Hot Springs, Arkansas and the National Passport Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. At the National Foreign Affairs Training Center ($5 million), new classrooms are fully operational and new signage has been displayed.

Construction ($120 million) on a domestic Enterprise Server Operations Center (ESOC) has been completed. The data center opened June 2012. The new data center provides for high availability, redundancy, and disaster recovery for systems that ran previously only on the East Coast and provides much needed capacity for the Department to achieve its goals in support of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative. The new facility operates on a Federal campus in a high security environment and is expected to provide for incremental growth over the next 30 years with only modest investments in construction costs. Environmental studies and master planning are ongoing for the site identified as the potential location of the Diplomatic Security Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC). FASTC ($70 million) will provide a centralized location that supports security-related training for Department of State and other U.S. Government staff posted at U.S. embassies overseas.

International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) - Funding ($220 million) accelerated the IBWC's modernization program by 20 years, remediating risks identified by geo-physical analysis suggesting that 60 percent of the levee system in high-priority areas was deficient. The IBWC projects are raising or making structural improvements to 237 miles of the levees to ensure they provide adequate protection and meet the standards established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Construction work is reported at 91 percent complete. The majority of the planned construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2012, with one segment continuing until early 2013.

Information Technology and Cyber Security - Through funding ($132 million), cyber security, information technology, and advanced telecommunications equipment deployed during FY 2011 increased the integrity and resiliency of the Department's network and its ability to counter emerging threats. The Global Information Technology Program replaced 13,245 antiquated classified and unclassified desktop computers at U.S. missions worldwide. The Department replaced obsolete telephone systems at three of its largest diplomatic missions at embassies Bangkok (Thailand), Brussels (Belgium), and Vienna (Austria). The new units replaced systems that were 13-15 years old and had been expanded to maximum capacity. The Mobile Computing program significantly expanded the Department's unclassified Remote Access and Telework capabilities allowing simultaneous access to 35,000 mobile users worldwide. No new activities took place during FY 2012.

Office of Inspector General - Funding ($2 million) to provide oversight for using ARRA funds and ARRA projects by the Department expired on September 30, 2010. Throughout the Department's Recovery Act implementation, OIG initiated 26 projects between October 2009 and June 2012 to assess Department and IBWC activities funded by ARRA. As of July 2012, all OIG activities related to this funding have been concluded. OIG audits and reviews of the Department's use of ARRA funds resulted in 25 reports issued, and recommendations of questioned costs and potential funds identified be put to better use.


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