☷FACT SHEET Biden Harris Administration Prioritizes Effectiveness Accountability and Transparency in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Implementation
White House ( By Press Release office)
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Today , the Office of Management and Budget ( OMB ) released initial guidance to federal agencies to set a strong foundation for effective , efficient , and equitable implementation of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—a historic investment in rebuilding roads and bridges , providing clean drinking water , and ensuring access to affordable internet . As the President said in the State of the Union , “in my administration , the watchdogs are back . ” President Biden has a long - standing commitment to collaboration with Inspectors General ( IGs ) and the broader oversight community , dating back to his leadership as Vice President when he was tasked with implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act . He has made clear that results and accountability go hand - in - hand , and that to deliver results for all Americans , the federal government must act—and support appropriate oversight of its activities—in a manner deserving of public trust . The initial guidance will ensure that there is minimal fraud , waste , and abuse in the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law , and projects are delivered on time and on budget by delivering results with accountability , effectiveness , and transparency , collaborating with inspectors general and the oversight community , and , providing technical and financial assistance for communities . The guidance was informed by the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force and stakeholders , reflects discussion with the oversight community , and reflects President Biden’s long - standing commitment to robust oversight and effective stewardship of taxpayer dollars . This afternoon , President Biden and senior administration officials—including OMB Director Shalanda Young , Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu , American Rescue Plan Implementation Coordinator Gene Sperling , and OMB Deputy Director for Management Jason Miller—will meet with agency Inspectors General ( IGs ) who have been providing oversight to the implementation of the American Rescue Plan and who will provide oversight of implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law . The meeting will also include the leadership of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency ( CIGIE ) and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee ( PRAC ) . The President , his senior advisors , and IGs will discuss steps they are taking to ensure robust oversight of federal programs . Upon signing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law , President Biden signed an Executive Order establishing the Task Force to coordinate effective implementation . Co - chaired by Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu and National Economic Director Brian Deese , Task Force members include the heads of federal departments , agencies , and offices with infrastructure implementation responsibilities . The Task Force—which has held 11 Cabinet - level meetings—has focused on cross - agency coordination , ensuring public trust and accountability , and tackling important interagency issues like developing technical assistance and capacity - building resources for state , local , Tribal and territorial governments that will spend as much as 90 percent of the law’s funding . To date , each primary agency has identified an infrastructure implementation coordinator . The White House Infrastructure Implementation Team and agency coordinators have convened at least weekly since the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was signed . DELIVERING RESULTS WITH ACCOUNTABILITY , EFFECTIVENESS , AND TRANSPARENCYOne of the primary goals for implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established by the President’s Executive Order was to “invest public dollars efficiently , avoid waste , and focus on measurable outcomes for the American people . ” The initial implementation guidance issued by OMB today directs agencies to ensure accountable stewardship of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding , building on effective practices from the Administration’s implementation of the American Rescue Plan , as well as existing financial management and reporting requirements set forth in statute and prior OMB guidance . Additional guidance may be issued by OMB on topics that require further direction , including on the implementation priorities set forth by the President in his Executive Order . The guidance includes direction on:Using data and evidence . In designing and implementing Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Programs , agencies are charged to make evidence - based decisions , transparently describe the criteria for investment decisions , set and track measurable goals , performance indicators , and milestones , use data to measure and evaluate progress , and foster a culture of continuous improvement . Planning for program implementation . To ensure Bipartisan Infrastructure Law - funded programs are implemented efficiently and effectively , agencies must plan for program implementation to be consistent with statutory requirements and address the requirements , recommendations , and priorities in the President’s Executive Order and the new OMB guidance . This implementation planning must also include program - level financial management controls and risk mitigation strategies . Documenting selection criteria and review processes . Agencies must also document their review and selection process for discretionary programs , which must be consistent with the criteria , review , and selection information provided in Notices of Funding Opportunity ( NOFOs ) , so that projects meet program goals . Reporting on awards and subawards . Agencies are already reporting monthly , including information about obligations and outlays , to USAspending . gov for all funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law . Agencies are directed to ensure the quality and accuracy of award descriptions and recipient data on USAspending . gov to help inform the public of the purpose of the federal awards and where the funding ultimately goes . Going farther in post - award reporting . For grant and cooperative agreement programs funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law , post - award reporting that demonstrates progress toward achieving outcomes will help maintain accountability to taxpayers and advance equity . The Administration is prioritizing post - award reporting of data with the following goals in mind: designing programs with clear goals and objectives; executing programs efficiently and effectively; promoting transparency and building trust with the public; delivering exemplary customer experience for recipients; and building capacity for evidence building . Agencies will take program - specific approaches to collecting and reporting post - award information about project location and phase of project implementation , going farther than past reporting requirements . Public - facing performance dashboards will be developed and shared online . COLLABORATING WITH INSPECTORS GENERAL AND THE OVERSIGHT COMMUNITYAt the President’s direction and through the leadership of the American Rescue Plan Implementation Coordinator Gene Sperling , the Administration has been collaborating across agencies and with the PRAC on the implementation and stewardship of programs funded through the American Rescue Plan . To institutionalize the President’s approach and the lessons learned in ARP implementation , OMB issued guidance last December directing agency leaders to support the important role of agency IGs , including by communicating with their staffs the President’s expectation of cooperation with IG offices . In the first five months of implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law , the Task Force has regularly met with CIGIE and the Government Accountability Office ( GAO ) , and leaders of agencies with infrastructure implementation responsibilities are meeting with their agency IGs , consistent with OMB’s Government - wide guidance on agency - IG cooperation . The new OMB guidance directs agencies to continue this collaboration through implementation of programs funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law . The guidance includes direction on: Engaging with IGs at the front end of program design . Agencies are directed to proactively engage with oversight entities , including agency IGs and the GAO , delivering on President Biden’s expectation that agencies ensure that programs balance efficient results , equitable access , and program integrity , including minimal waste , fraud , and abuse . Holding joint program review meetings with IGs . For new and expanded Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs where significant program design is being implemented , agencies must engage with OMB and the agency’s IG for a dedicated joint review meeting to proactively discuss program design , risk mitigation strategies , financial controls , and data , tracking , and reporting . The “Gold Standard Meeting” process was developed by the White House American Rescue Plan Implementation Team and OMB , and these meetings have promoted proactive and transparent collaboration for new and expanded programs with tangible improvements . Identifying and mitigating risks . Agencies are directed to use enterprise risk management practices and cooperation with their IGs to identify and mitigate risks during program design , including putting in place financial management controls to address payment integrity risks . The OMB guidance charges agency leadership to inform their IG when the agency is deciding to take on added risk , especially in new or changed programs , to expand access to the program , or when leveraging new technology or systems . PROVIDING TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR COMMUNITIESThe Biden - Harris Administration is working to ensure that the benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law reach all communities , including rural communities and communities that are marginalized , underserved , overburdened , or capacity constrained . These communities often lack adequate resources to navigate complex federal award - making processes . Building on ongoing Administration efforts , the new OMB guidance directs agencies to reduce barriers , including administrative burden , and increase access for communities , funding recipients , and funding beneficiaries . The guidance includes direction on:Collaborating with state , local , Tribal , and territorial governments . The guidance charges agencies to collaborate with state , local , Tribal , and territorial governments to support communities in accessing infrastructure funding . This includes designating teams to provide central coordination among agencies and territorial governments , as well as teams to coordinate across agencies on rural issues and technical assistance for economically distressed , rural communities . In addition , agencies will ensure their Tribal relations or Tribal affairs offices have designated liaisons to coordinate with , so that the Administration expands technical assistance and support for Tribal governments . Providing technical assistance to underserved and capacity - constrained communities . Agencies are directed to use to the fullest extent possible existing and new technical assistance resources to support underserved and capacity - constrained communities , including rural communities , in accessing federal resources . This includes providing direct federal technical assistance in accessing grants and other types of financial assistance , as well as support for data infrastructure and tools for evidence building and use among funding recipients . Engaging with affected communities . Agencies are directed to , when feasible , engage affected communities so their perspectives and expertise inform policy development , program design , and delivery processes . Agencies will focus particularly on underserved and capacity - constrained communities and stakeholders who may not have previously been able to apply for federal funding , including rural and urban communities and Tribal and territorial governments . ###
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