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April 30, 2009

Arkansas to implement IBM technology to track stimulus funds

IBM's Economic Recovery Fund Tracking technology to monitor and analyze the effectiveness of economic recovery spending programs

By CBR Staff Writer

The State of Arkansas plans to implement IBM real-time technology to monitor its spending of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding grants. IBM technology will be used to track stimulus funds and meet federal requirements, part of the state’s effort to ensure effective use of stimulus resources for improving education programs.

With billions of federal dollars on the way, local governments throughout the US, as well as federal agencies, are seeking new and improved methods to disburse and track the largest government spending program in decades. To meet the challenge, and established federal law requirements, the Arkansas Department of Education has contracted to use IBM’s Economic Recovery Fund Tracking technology to monitor and analyze the effectiveness of economic recovery spending programs, said IBM.

The company also said that its web-based technology dashboard combines the latest business intelligence and performance management technologies, together with access to financial management experts with government experience, to help clients monitor funding effectiveness, track jobs creation, and analyze the overall success of economic recovery spending programs.

According to IBM, the system enables government managers, governors, mayors, and federal agency leaders the ability to track individual program performance against allocated budgets, and adjust plans accordingly to ensure optimal delivery. The system is intended to be used by state and local, and federal, government managers responsible for identifying initiatives and pinpointing economic recovery funds, as well as those tasked with executing, measuring and reporting on complex programs.

The technology system is based on secure, open software that enables a completely integrated exchange of spending information online in order to monitor funding; track key performance indicators analyze effectiveness; and increase transparency and accountability.

Gerry Mooney, general manager of government at IBM, said: The ability to quickly monitor, control, and report on stimulus grants is critical to generating the most benefit to citizens, and ensuring transparency and accountability. Advances in financial management technology can play a crucial role in helping governmental organizations manage spending in real-time and demonstrate that their programs are having a positive impact in their community.

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