On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 (Recovery Act) into law in response to the economic crisis facing the nation. The Act, which appropriated $787 billion in an unprecedented effort to jumpstart the U.S. economy, includes measures to modernize the country’s infrastructure, enhance energy independence, provide affordable health care, and expand educational opportunities among other goals.
While addressing these challenges, the Recovery Act places a heavy emphasis on accountability and transparency so that taxpayers know where their tax dollars are being spent. The Recovery Act contains built-in measures to detect and prevent fraud, waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending. As part of the legislation, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of State and Broadcasting Board of Governors has received $2 million of Recovery Act funds to provide oversight of the Department of State’s implementation and execution of projects funded by the Recovery Act. Working with the Department, Congress, and the oversight community, OIG has established a work plan to provide timely and effective oversight of the Recovery Act monies expended by the Department.
The Department of State has received $600 million of Recovery funds, which includes up to $38 million for the United States Agency for International Development. The funding will be used to enhance and expand Department facilities. Projects include construction of five new passport agencies, expansion of two existing passport locations, construction of a training facility for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and renovations to the National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia, where officers and support personnel of the U.S. foreign affairs community are trained.
Recovery funds also will enable the Department to undertake technology upgrades that will reduce the Department’s risk of IT failure, provide for future IT growth, and strengthen the Department’s cyber security capabilities. More than one-third of the funding will be used to repair and rehabilitate deficient infrastructure along 506 miles of flood control levees operated by the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC).
As the Department develops and implements its Recovery Act plans, this site will be updated regularly with the results of State OIG’s oversight program.
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