Across the nation, we are facing rising cases of COVID-19, and with the addition of variants such as the Delta variant, many Americans may face the unpleasant possibility of regression in acclimating to normal life. With the fear of job loss, financial strain, and family safety coming into play, many are working their hardest to ensure that their businesses remain open and that jobs remain steady during this unprecedented time. Government agencies, especially state and local government administrations, have felt excessive strain during this time, as the need for their services and support has increased immensely. With this financial pressure, the American Rescue Plan has come into play, bringing needed relief to government organizations across the country. Here, our team of facilities workflow platform experts at SCLogic discuss the basics of the American Rescue Plan for government agencies, and how you can use these funds for your facilities management investment through the Technology Modernization Fund.
An Overview of the American Rescue Plan
In March of 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. This $1.9 trillion package is intended to assist with the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of this package total, $350 billion is being given in emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to help combat rising costs and falling revenues within government sectors. During the pandemic, the need for government services has increased exceptionally while resources have been depleted, leaving many state and local governments struggling to maintain a normal workflow. At the height of the pandemic, public sector employment fell by around 1.4 million jobs, forcing government agencies to choose between supporting their employees or failing to provide needed community services. The American Rescue Plan will be a much-needed relief to these government sectors, with funds being divided among state, local, tribal, and territory governments as follows:
- $195 billion for states (minimum of $500 million for each state)
- $130 billion for local governments (minimum of $1.25 billion per state provided by the statute inclusive of the amounts allocated to local governments within the state)
- $20 billion for tribal governments
- $4.5 billion for territories
In relation to specifics regarding the distribution and usage of funds, note that the funds will be distributed by the U.S. Department of Treasury and that the deadline to spend these funds is December 31, 2024. The Department of Treasury is required to pay the first portion of this funding no later than 60 days after enactment, and the second payment no earlier than 12 months after the first payment. Furthermore, states are required to report how the funds are used and how their tax revenue was modified during this time, whereas local governments must submit “periodic reports” with a detailed account of fund use.
The Technology Modernization Fund for Government Agencies
Within the American Rescue Plan, there is another area of funding that will be vital for government agencies focusing on improving their internal software, the Technology Modernization Fund. This fund was authorized by the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017, and through the American Rescue Plan, has received an additional $1 billion to be distributed for modernization projects. This fund is overseen by the Technology Modernization Board, filled with Government IT leaders in technology and operations. To obtain funds from this plan, government agencies must go through a two-phase approval process, outlined below.
Phase 1: Initial Project Proposal (IPP)
The first step in obtaining funding from the Technology Modernization Fund is to have your agency submit a proposal using the IPP template provided by the Technology Modernization Board. The Board will then review your application based on selected criteria, including but not limited to:
- Impact on Agency Mission: This includes user impact and expected outcome, as well as improving security. Agencies must identify that this funding will both enhance their service offerings for the public, as well as improve cybersecurity or operational hazards.
- Feasibility: This includes the agency sponsorship and team strength, as well as a project execution strategy. Agencies must be able to verify strong internal support, and that this funding will assist with the completion of long-term strategic goals and KPIs outlined previously by the agency.
- Opportunity Enablement: This includes the value proposition and operational efficiencies, showing that the costs of modernization will ultimately lead to exceptional savings or an extensive increase in revenue after the initial installation and adoption.
- Common Solutions: This includes the reduction of outdated or insecure systems currently in place. The agency must demonstrate that the investment into technology modernization will reduce or retire outdated or duplicative systems and that security and revenue will be improved as a result.
Phase 2: Full Project Proposal (FPP)
Under Phase 2 of your Technology Modernization Fund application, agencies will present their full proposal to the Board to review all financial aspects and review questions. If approved, the GSA program office and agency project team will finalize a Written Agreement listing requirements and milestones for project completion. Finally, funds will be distributed to agencies in an incremental manner, based on performance against previously established targets within the Written Agreement. Please note that once your project is funded, the Board will conduct reviews on a quarterly basis to ensure that projects are staying on schedule. Furthermore, technical experts from GSA and entities including the U.S. Digital Service will be able to provide hands-on support to project teams. Applications for the Technology Modernization Fund are now being considered on a rolling basis.
Why These Funds are Vital for In-Building Logistics Success
For those in charge of facilities management and in-building logistics, you may be wondering if the funds from the American Rescue Plan and Technology Modernization Fund are applicable for your team. The good news is that they absolutely are, and not only that, but they can also make a huge difference in the efficiency of your team. The result? Less stress for your employees, the ability to manage effectively, a streamlined solution for many daunting daily tasks, and ultimately, increased revenue. For government agencies, technology modernization goes beyond obtaining the most updated computers and tablets, it plays an integral role of the efficiency and security of your entire agency.
Consider governmental asset management. Under the Real Property Policy Division of the Federal Real Property Council (FRPC), government employees must uphold asset management accountability, and implement federal real property reforms as needed. With outdated in-building logistics software, many agencies face the risk of misplacing or losing important assets, as well as a lack of proper storage or disposal procedures. Without comprehensive oversight of assets within a facility, your team faces delays, exorbitant maintenance costs, and an inefficient workplace. With increasing service requirements and limited funds and manpower for many agencies, outdated software becomes more than just a nuisance, it becomes a true obstacle in assisting the public you serve. Through Intra, our team has created a comprehensive and configurable solution that is catered to your agency’s unique needs. From asset management to mail and parcel tracking, our Intra Enterprise solution provides an innovative platform for your team to excel in creating a modern internal environment, increasing revenue, and serving the public to the best of your abilities.
Why SCLogic’s Intra is Your Agency’s Ultimate Solution
Now you may be wondering how SCLogic and our Intra facilities management platform stand apart from the rest. While we serve a variety of sectors, our team has over two decades of experience focusing on solutions for government agencies. We have multiple NIST certifications, are Section 508 certified, TRM approved for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and FIPS 140 compliant, just to name a few. With customers already including the DOJ, DOE, U.S. Air Force, and many VA Medical Centers, we are not afraid of a challenge, and make it our mission to provide the best possible solutions for agencies of all sizes. If your agency can obtain funding through the American Rescue Plan or Technology Modernization Fund, now is the perfect time to consider an update to your current in-building logistics solution. To learn more about our offerings, email [email protected], and if you’re ready to speak with our team, schedule a demo with us today!