Fund Management

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Program

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Program photo
Client:

Puerto Rico Infrastructure

Financing Authority (PRIFA)

Location:

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Cost:

$6,000,000,000

Services:

Program Management

Grant Writing

Community Outreach & Communications

Compliance

Reporting

Data Management

Facing a challenging economic environment and recognizing the issues associated with a decentralized government structure, Puerto Rico decided to leverage private sector experience in program management by partnering with CSA.

The ARRA program’s objective was to provide support to the government in the implementation of the ARRA, in a way that would:

  • Maximize federal funding approval
  • Optimize return on investment
  • Provide the needed support to expedite initiatives and projects
  • Assure compliance with all Federal and State laws and regulations

During the early inception of ARRA, CSA made a strategic decision to invest research and human capital to enhance its Program Management expertise and established best practices essential to the successful execution and delivery of such a large endeavor. Data capture began at program initiation with continuous improvement in structure and detail as the program progressed.

Anticipating the compliance requirements throughout the program mobilization and ramp up, the team utilized outreach and training events to develop clear understanding of the key ARRA requirements such as:

  • Registration and certification
  • Required data elements for quarterly reports
  • Effective grant and competitive proposal writing and review support
  • Coaching on the required accountability, transparency, compliance management, aggressive deadlines
  • Established communications and facilitated interfaces with multiple stakeholders

CSA’s enhanced Program Management services were developed to address the ARRA high level regulatory requirements through the use of:

  • Integrated Monthly Reporting Metrics
  • Implemented local reporting structure that used information codes and

metadata 100% compatible with Federalreporting.gov

  • Trained local entities on electronic filing
  • Established local structure to monitor ARRA expenditures
  • Enhanced data quality for federal quarterly reporting

As the grant and competitive proposals were completed, CSA Compliance coordinators conducted training on grant-specific and federal reporting requirements. Then CSA’s Agency and Municipal Coordinators worked closely with these entities across multiple fronts to ensure proper execution. QA/QC reviews of all data elements for the required monthly and quarterly reports were conducted as ongoing changes to guidelines, laws and regulations were identified and incorporated. Reports were customized for the agencies and municipalities to supplement standard Federal requirements. In close collaboration with the Office of the Governor, CSA applied database technology to serve as both a communication and reporting tool. Additional communication activities included press releases, interviews and community outreach events to maintain a constant flow of information and accomplishments.

Examples of Value Added Services provided by CSA included: Energy
  • When ARRA injected funds through four programs, CSA/PRIFA helped Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration (EAA) prepare and organize through staff and budget restructuring to ensure the EAA conducted effective planning and was able to meet Department of Energy guidelines.
Education
  • With over $1 billion in ARRA education funds allocated to Puerto Rico, it became critical to address previous issues with effective management of grant applications and funding. The CSA coordinators worked with the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) to establish cross department and agency stakeholder teams to develop proposals, operational plans and to utilize schedules, monitor progress and report results. Four key projects were established for the Energy program - State Energy Program (SEP), Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG) and the Energy Star Rebate Program.
Information Management & Broadband Implementation
  • CSA established program management and business methodology procedures in the newly appointed Office of the Chief Information Officer to provide recommendations for ARRA funding applications, consultant procurement evaluation process and Broadband Infrastructure evaluation. Additionally, CSA assisted in the deployment of the State Designated Entity for the development of a State Strategic and Operational Plan for Health Information Exchange (HIE) Plan.

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