USDOT’s Secretary Ray LaHood letter to Nation’s Governors about ARRA fund use

Article Source:  USDOT

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Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood requests action by the Nation’s Governors to make certifications and other assurances that the funding made available under the Recovery Act will be spent for worthy infrastructure projects. Certification is necessary to permit the timely release of funds.

Overview of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009. It is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act is an extraordinary response to a crisis unlike any since the Great Depression, and includes measures to modernize our nation’s infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

Implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Transportation is a great enabler of economic growth, the lifeblood of commerce.  It moves people to jobs and goods to the marketplace.  Without strong transportation arteries, economies stagnate.  We will use the transportation funding in the Act to deliver jobs and restore our nation’s economy.  We will emphasize sustainable investment and focus our policies on the people, businesses and communities who use the transportation systems.  And, we will focus on the quality of our environment.  We will invest in jobs to expand transit capacity and modernize transit systems.  We will invest in jobs to allow Amtrak to add and modernize cars and engines and upgrade its tracks.  We will invest in jobs to expand airport capacity and make safety improvements.  We will invest in jobs to build and rehabilitate and make safer roads, highways, bridges and ports.  And we will invest in jobs to launch high-speed rail in America.

DOT Plans and Reports

The Recovery Act and related guidance include several provisions that require DOT to take steps beyond standard practice, including reporting, information collection, budget execution, risk management, and specific action related to award type.

DOT Reporting and Plans will include the following:

  • Major Communications
  • Formula Block Grant Allocation Reports
  • Weekly Updates – starting March 3rd; provides a breakdown of funding, major actions taken to date, and major planned actions
  • Monthly Financial Reports – starting May 8th; provides obligations, expenditures, and other financial data by Treasury Account, vendor, and award number, as well as information on allocations of mandatory and entitlement programs by State, county or other appropriate geographical unit
  • Agency Transaction Data Feeds – starting May 5th; provides all Recovery Act assistance transactions (primarily grants, loans, and loan guarantees)
  • Agency Recovery Plan – no later than May 1st; provides both broad recovery goals and the agency’s coordinating efforts
  • Recovery Program Plans – no later than May 1st; provides a separate plan for each Recovery Act program named in the legislation

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