Billions in stimulus money seen for technology

As much as $100 billion in economic stimulus law funding may flow to technology companies for energy efficiency, broadband, electronic health records and education technology, according to an analysis by TechAmerica.

About half of the $100 billion will be distributed through state governments and agencies, said Olga Grkavac, the organization's executive vice president for the public sector. “We expect about $50 billion in federal and $50 billion in state technology spending,” she said.

States are beginning to organize to determine how that money should be spent, said Roxanne Gould, the senior vice president of state government affairs. In California, a task force intends to modernize 1,200 schools, initiate electronic health records and centralize information technology purchases under the law, she said. In Florida, officials are planning to expand fiber-optic computer networks for schools.

Ideally, the money should be sent to a balanced mix of contractor and non-contractor projects, short-term and long-term projects, with some through existing contracts and some through new contracts, said Christopher Hansen, chief executive officer of TechAmerica. It represents about 1,500 technology companies.

“We are in favor of distributing it with long-term benefits and short-term benefits,” said Hansen. Projects should be examined on a case-by-case basis to see what is most effective and provides the most value, he said.

TechAmerica was created from a merger of the Information Technology Association of America and the American Electronics Association.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Tue, Mar 10, 2009 aullman

The Fed Gov't has set up Telework Centers around the DC area, however there are federal employees around the rest of the country who would like to take advantage of a similar program in their area. Stimulus money could be used to fund programs that allow workers to work remotely. The gov't would not have to set up new centers. They could take advantage of existing privately hosted Remote Office Centers. ROCs lease individual offices, internet and phone systems to workers from different companies in shared centers located around the city and suburbs. ROCs can be found in many cities by searching the internet for "Remote Office Centers".

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