As additional variants of the coronavirus continue to impact the country, organizations everywhere are pivoting their strategy yet again to stay afloat during this tumultuous time. For state and local governments and municipalities, the American Rescue Plan signed into effect last year provided funding for both immediate and long-term relief. However, many government agencies are focusing on figuring out the most efficient ways to spend their funding while ensuring they remain financially stable for the future. Here, the government operations software experts at SCLogic discuss the details of the American Rescue Plan as it relates to government agencies, as well as different opportunities your team may have to propel your agency into a secure and successful future.
What is the American Rescue Plan?
The American Rescue Plan was a nearly $1.9 trillion plan signed into action on March 11th, 2021, and provided nearly $350 billion for states, municipalities, territories, and tribal governments, as well as separate money for schools, universities, and transportation agencies through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds( SLFRF). The SLFRF program provides government agencies across the country with the ability to maintain vital services, support families and businesses struggling with the physical and economic impacts of the pandemic, and “build an equitable recovery by making investments that support long-term growth and opportunity,” according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. These funds were distributed differently through each state, divided into categories including, but not limited to, economic relief and development, education, housing and human services, workforce development, and more. You can view an updated list by state and category on the NCSL ARPA State Fiscal Recovery Fund Allocations page here.
What is the Final Rule for the SLFRF?
Released on January 6th, 2022, the Treasury provided requirements for spending specified in the Final Rule. In May 2021, the Interim Final Rule was released describing eligible uses for funds. This was used for immediate pandemic relief and immediate recovery while the Treasury sought feedback from government agencies and stakeholders for long-term changes. As of early this year, there have been certain changes in the Final Rule, including:
Replacing Lost Public Sector Revenue
There will be a standard allowance for revenue loss of $10 million for government agencies. Government agencies will then choose if they want to report a standard revenue loss or manually complete a full revenue loss calculation. Government agencies who select the standard amount are often granted their full award for government services.
Public Health and Economic Impacts
After feedback from over 1,500 government agencies and stakeholders, the Final Rule expands eligibility for those impacted/disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. This includes affordable housing communities, childcare, and learning loss services and allows for funds to be used in neighborhood revitalization activities.
Updates to the Final Rule allow for more streamlined premium pay options, expanding the number of eligible workers who can receive premium pay without additional analysis or justification.
Water, Sewer, and Broadband Infrastructure
The last addition to the Final Rule broadens broadband infrastructure investments to help ensure affordability, reliability, and safe water, sewer, and storm management processes for underserved communities.
Can ARPA/SLFRF Funds Be Used for Technology?
If you’re wondering if ARPA/SLFRF funds can be used to improve technology for your facility, the short answer is yes, absolutely! Technology investments provide significant benefits in both the short and long-term success of your facility and can alleviate some of the major pain points your team faces daily so you can focus on what is most important, serving your town, county, or state to the best of your ability. According to the National League of Cities (NLC), “government services, such as modernization of cybersecurity, including hardware, software, and protection of critical infrastructure” are all allowable uses in the American Rescue Plan Act.
Now, you may be thinking, can facilities technology really make that much of an impact on your team and the ability to serve your community? You may be surprised. Consider this, outdated or insecure software, multiple point solutions, and employees that do not have a high adoption rate lead to a team that focuses significant time and effort into completing tasks that could be completed in moments. You’ve faced multiple cyberattacks, lost confidential or personal files, and continuously spent funds on reactive maintenance for broken equipment. But what if those problems could be eliminated with a single comprehensive software solution? Through our government operations software, Intra, we’ve created a detailed, innovative, and user-friendly software that provides efficient solutions for even the most complex facilities challenges. As a result, your team can focus on immediate relief and strategic sustainability efforts for your community.
What Sets Intra Apart from Other Facility Software?
When it comes to facilities software, choosing the right one for your team can seem like a challenge. While you want a robust and secure software platform, you also don’t want to sacrifice usability and integration abilities. With Intra, you get the perfect balance of industry expertise combined with a user-friendly interface, backed by unmatched security and integrations features. With over 25 years working with government agencies of all sizes, we are also NIST-certified in specific cybersecurity publications, Section 508 Certified, TRM approved, and FIPS 140 compliant.
From our Asset Logistics Workgroup to our Workplace Services Workgroup, asset management, task completion, visitor tracking, sustainability efforts, and more are simplified. Our Asset Logistics Workgroup provides resources to track PPE and technology for employees on a hybrid schedule and begin proactive maintenance efforts by monitoring the lifecycle status of all assets, mean time to repair, and mean time between failure. Optimize your team’s task completion by utilizing our Workplace Services Workgroup, which allows for workspace reservation, facility and equipment audits, and reporting on task completion, turnaround time, and visitor tracking to ensure your facility is working as efficiently as possible. Finally, our analytics dashboard and reporting capabilities simplify your reporting process for internal and external metric sharing with the Treasury for compliance purposes.
While this just scratches the surface of what Intra offers, we hope that we’ve piqued your interest. We understand that investing in technology, especially during this unprecedented time, can be a difficult decision. However, we believe that the benefits for your team, your community, and your long-term success significantly outweighs the initial investment. When you work with SCLogic, you’re working with a team that is like family, and we always put our community first. To learn more about how we can serve you, email [email protected] for more information or schedule a demo with one of our team members today!