Maine ARRA Reporting Complete
By Paul Sandlin, OIT
The State of Maine has completed its inaugural round of Recovery Act reporting. Passed in February of this year, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) makes available to agencies of the State some $1.2 billion in additional funding. The Act includes reporting requirements over and above normal for federally funded initiatives along with an extremely aggressive timeline. The initial reports for 130 awards and 504 sub awards from the far reaches of the State were due a mere 8 months from the initiation of the law.
What has made this effort unique aside from its scale and aggressive timeline is that it, for the first time, seeks to measure the outcomes of all initiatives by the same standards and that each of those be individually certified by the Governor. A consequence of this is that the State undertook a centralized and highly collaborative data collection effort that guaranteed accurate and comprehensive reporting. The effort was characterized by a high level of communication and teamwork that spanned all 14 reporting agencies as well as the offices within DAFS coordinating the effort.
This was only the first, though probably the most difficult, of several more rounds of reporting. While generally viewed as a successful effort it was not without its bumps which in themselves offer insight in how we can better execute Enterprise efforts in the future. During the current respite we are taking a hard look here in Maine at the effort successes and failures. Additionally we are mindful that we are one of 50 states undertaking similar initiatives. CIO Richard Thompson reports that:
At the NASCIO Annual Meeting in Austin Texas last week, ARRA was a topic of great discussion. As CIOs from across the nation shared their experiences it became apparent that Maine 's approach was solid and the experiences shared with other participants were well received. The ARRA project is one of the largest statewide government data transparency endeavors to date. It was recognized early on that technology will be the major factor in acquiring and delivering the data necessary to meet federal guidelines. OIT joined agencies, the Controller's Office, Service Centers and the DAFS Commissioner at the table on day one, collaborating with government partners, and will continue to be a key player throughout the process.
The State, in partnership with InforME, is building an application to publish a comprehensive presentation of Recovery Act information along with additional data being collected to demonstrate to the citizens of Maine how they are impacted by this effort. Please visit the website at http://www.maine.gov/recovery to watch the effort unfold.