The deadline for agencies to submit their final spending plans is fast approaching. Drafts of these plans were due on May 1st, and final plans are due on May 15. Agencies are required to submit both agency-wide and program-specific plans according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance memo.
Here is a peek into selected details required for the program-specific plans:
- Funding table-list of funds and programs
- Objectives of the program
- Kind and scope of activities within the project
- Environmental review compliance (plans for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act)
- Measures (quantifiable outcomes and a description of the measurement process)
- Monitoring and evaluation process
- Transparency approach
- Accountability process for managers
- Barriers to implementation
What does this mean for businesses targeting government? First, vendors will clearly be impacted by the level of reporting detail required of them. Recipient agencies will expect suppliers to have fairly sophisticated accounting methods for jumping through hoops like tracking and separating stimulus work from non-stimulus work. And, helping these agencies make this process easier will surely create opportunity.
Second, there also may be a heightened level of scrutiny with regards to the vendor selection process to which suppliers may not be accustomed. This scrutiny will range from federal agencies delving into contractor relationships, to local media creating controversy around a specific project.
Third, agencies may be subjected to new standards. As an example, assessments of compliance with certain environmental stipulations may not be required under the “normal” business environment, but will be required under the stimulus program.
Vendors playing on the “stimulus field” will need to keep these things in mind, honing their technical, political, and marketing skills to achieve long-term success.