How Agencies Plan to Use Stimulus Funds

tablet with person scrolling on the screen for community

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and CARES Act have slightly different guidelines on how government agencies can use the funds. However, both are broadly designated to respond to COVID-19, support the economy, and future-proofing government operations.

Industry experts say ARPA is the most significant opportunity to reinvent systems and better prepare for the future.

Common IT uses cases include supporting telework & distance learning, improving the citizen experience and digital services, broadband infrastructure, and modernization as an investment in cost-savings, security, and scalability. Direct aid to state and local governments fills revenue gaps caused by the pandemic based on projections from January 2020. This was not allowed for CARES Act funding.

What is the purpose of the ARPA funds?

  • Supporting the public health response
  • Addressing the negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency
  • Serving the hardest-hit communities and families
  • Replacing lost public sector revenue
  • Providing premium pay for essential workers
  • Investing in water and sewer infrastructure
  • Investing in broadband infrastructure

There is no exhaustive list of applicable use cases in ARPA funds. There are specific areas called out for technology, such as broadband, cyber-security, and data and technology infrastructure. The guidance is general and primarily requires tying the use back to COVID-19 impact. The federal government continues to clarify the Acts details by releasing updates on project requirements, justification, and reporting needs. Adding automation in the context of your goals makes for a strong financial justification. We can not say all of the following projects will qualify for ARPA funds, but the following are a few of our client’s key process improvement plans.

ARPA Funding Technology Projects in a list format

In general, projects related to the outward-facing way you do business with constituents are a good case for business continuity and still provide the services people need. A positive from this whole experience is that people rarely go back once you make the change to digital processes.