Spending the Stimulus: Federal Guidelines and Accountability

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President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the "Stimulus Act") on February 17, 2009, providing $787 billion to create and maintain jobs and to spur economic growth. Of the total, tax relief accounts for $212 billion. The other $575 billion will be disbursed by Federal agencies through construction and other contracts and grants to state and local governments and nonprofit organizations. The Stimulus Act allocates specified amounts to named Federal agencies for designated programs and activities.

The day after the Stimulus Act became law, the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") issued its Initial Implementing Guidance (the "Initial Guidance") to Federal agencies that will receive stimulus funds. The Initial Guidance provides the agencies with direction on planning for and authorizing contracts and grants. Like the Stimulus Act itself, the Initial Guidance emphasizes transparency and accountability. Federal agencies will be required to make available a wealth of information about their plans for spending stimulus funds and about the effectiveness of the spending.

The Initial Guidance also includes important information for companies and nonprofits that want to obtain stimulus-funded contracts and grants. They will want to keep track of agency planning and inform themselves of the criteria that will guide awards and the special provisions designed to make stimulus spending transparent and accountable. The following highlights some of the information:

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For more information, please contact the Construction Law Practice Group at Lane Powell:

206.223.7000 Seattle

503.778.2100 Portland

lppc@lanepowell.com

www.lanepowell.com

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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