Tech projects to get big splash from second wave of stimulus spending

Information technology projects will recieve signficant funds, implementation director says

A second wave of spending under the economic stimulus law will happen over the next year, and information technology projects will get a lot of the green, said Edward DeSeve, special advisor to the Office of Management Budget and director for implementation of the Recovery Act.

Half of the $787 billion stimulus will be spent or applied to tax breaks by December and 70 percent of the money should be used by September 2010, DeSeve said Sunday night at the Executive Leadership Conference sponsored by IAC and ACT.

“Without innovation, the American economy has no where to go,” DeSeve said. “We can’t do the things that we’ve been doing, we have to do new things, and technology will be an extraordinarily important force in implementing the long term aspects of the Recovery Act.”

Health IT, for example, will receive significant funding over the next year, DeSeve said. About $20 billion will be applied to health-related projects, he said.

In a recent meeting, William Corr, deputy secretary of Health and Human Service Department, William Wynn, deputy secretary of Defense Department and Scott Gould, deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs Department, pledged to open the Defense Department’s health IT to the civilian community, DeSeve said.

“This wasn’t a bunch of people who were visionaries or trying to give me a snow job; these were the deputy secretaries who will be held accountable if it doesn’t happen,” DeSeve said. “So there is support across the administration for this aspect of technology, and it is supported within the stimulus program in terms of reinvestment.” 

Reporting how money is spent under the economic stimulus is proving to be a challenge, DeSeve said. Data was supposed to be released on Oct. 10, but DeSeve’s office asked to postpone that deadline to check the data’s accuracy.

One $3 billion error was detected, and an Ohio housing program incorrectly reported that it created 384,000 jobs.

“We had to scrub the data very carefully so transparency became clarity,” DeSeve said. “If it is transparent and all you’re seeing is mud, then you’re not seeing much that’s good.”

The data is scheduled to be released Oct. 30, DeSeve said.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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