May 8, 2009
BOARD MEETING DATE:
May 19, 2009
Honorable Board of Supervisors
David S. Boesch, County Manager
Delegation of Authority to Apply for and Spend Federal Economic Stimulus Funds
Adopt a resolution:
(1) authorizing the County Manager to execute, process, and submit any and all documents required for the County of San Mateo’s receipt of federal economic stimulus funds, including but not limited to funding applications, funding certifications, and funding agreements,
(2) authorizing the County Manager to execute agreements necessary for the County of San Mateo’s expenditure of federal economic stimulus funds, including but not limited to agreements with independent contractors and service providers for services to be funded by federal economic stimulus funds, and
(3) directing the County Manager to submit to the Board of Supervisors for ratification and acceptance a monthly report of any and all documents executed, processed, or submitted in connection with this resolution.
Commitments and Goals: The authorization will further the County’s commitments to responsive and effective government, and to create opportunities for every household to participate in our prosperity.
Following the recent economic downturn, the federal government made an array of economic stimulus funds available to local governments. These funds, which will be used to support local public services, are sometimes referred to as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. We are currently aware of at least four County departments that plan to apply for, receive, and spend federal economic stimulus funds to support a variety of public services. To date, the Human Services Agency, the Department of Housing, the Department of Public Works, and the Sheriff’s Office, have indicated that they intend to apply for and receive ARRA funds. In the coming weeks and months, it is likely that other county departments will also learn of additional public projects that could be supported by ARRA funds.
Application for, receipt of, and expenditure of federal economic stimulus funds will require the execution, processing, and submission of a variety of documents, including funding applications, certifications, and agreements to receive and spend the ARRA funds. One condition of the ARRA funding is that the documents are required to be executed, processed, and submitted within very short timelines. Ordinarily, contracts in amounts of more than $100,000 are required to be submitted for the Board of Supervisors’ consideration at a regularly scheduled Board meeting prior to the execution of the documents. However, it would not be possible to meet the tight ARRA deadlines if the transactions follow the typical path.
The authority to execute documents necessary to access and spend ARRA funds should be delegated to the County Manager. Authorizing the County Manager to execute, process and submit documents necessary for the County’s receipt and expenditure of federal economic stimulus funds would ensure that the necessary documents are processed in accordance with the short ARRA processing timelines. Flexibility and efficiency in the ARRA process is likely to result in the County of San Mateo’s access to significant amounts of federal economic stimulus.
While a delegation would be efficient and effective, the delegation should be limited in its scope and should be subject to checks and balances. Therefore, the recommended delegation would be limited to transactions involving federal economic stimulus funds. In addition, to ensure that the funds are obtained and spend consistent with the decisions of the Board of Supervisors, the County Manager could be required to submit a monthly report of all ARRA transactions to the Board of Supervisors for the Board’s ratification.
The delegation could result in the County’s efficient and timely access to and expenditure of several million dollars in federal economic stimulus funds.