Monday, February 23, 2009

Many agencies have already missed the deadline

to appoint oversight officials for the stimulus money.


Agencies have had mixed success at meeting one of the first deadlines related to the massive economic stimulus package: the goal of selecting by Feb. 13 a high-level official to oversee spending.

A number of agencies contacted by Government Executive have placed someone in charge of economic recovery act activities, as requested by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag in a Feb. 9 memorandum. But at least several others missed the Feb. 13 deadline.

The Homeland Security Department, which will receive nearly $2 billion to install explosives detection and checkpoint screening systems in airports, construct and improve border security, and improve Coast Guard infrastructure has yet to name its stimulus point person. A department spokeswoman said an announcement could come soon.

The General Services Administration, which will get more than $5.5 billion to make federal buildings and government vehicles more energy efficient and to expand border security, still is working on designating an official, a spokesman said.

And the Agriculture Department, which will receive more than $1 billion for Forest Service projects, modernization of the Farm Service Agency's computer systems, and headquarters repairs and security enhancements, is not yet prepared to make an announcement, a spokesman said.

Some agencies are waiting for President Obama to appoint high-level deputies who fit the criteria for the position.