On February 17, 2009, the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama in the amount of $787 billion. This Act is an unexpected opportunity that addresses Navajo’s long need for building infrastructure, as well as creating jobs.
Since February 17, 2009, federal departments and agencies have been working to finalize eligibility criteria for municipalities, county and state governments, non-profit organizations, corporations, and tribal governments to access recovery funds. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget has been directed by the Obama Administration to take the lead on coordinating the establishment of rigorous internal federal agency and program controls, oversight mechanisms, and other approaches to meet accountability objectives of the ARRA.
As of March 13, 2009, several federal agency programs have announced recovery funds allocation and/or eligibility criteria through their respective websites, federal register listing, or grants.gov. To assist the Navajo Nation Government, the Navajo Nation ARRA Recovery Team, with the assistance of the Navajo Nation Department of Technology, has created a clearing house website to assist with identifying recovery funds as specified per federal agency and program. The website will continually be updated as more agencies and programs finalize their eligibility criteria. It is encouraged for everyone to look and find funding sources that their projects and programs are eligible for and apply.
This is an opportunity that is long overdue and Navajo cannot afford to miss THIS boat!
It also needs to be understood that the recovery funds are on a complete different track than the regular federal budget appropriations for fiscal years 2009 and 2010. The ARRA has no earmarks for projects. The criteria and standard processes for awarding and overseeing recovery funds will meet accelerated timeframes and other unique challenges posed by the recovery bill’s transparency and accountability framework. All programs will need to compete for recovery funds unless directly allocated by a federal agency or program.
In closing, I would ask that all organizations outside of the Navajo Nation government coordinate their efforts with the appropriate Division or Department. I would also ask that a copy of all proposals being submitted be provided to a member of the Navajo ARRA Core Team. We would like to compile what is being submitted to Federal and State agencies for consideration. The Navajo Nation ARRA Recovery Team looks forward to assisting you in anyway we can and are available to help you identify areas where you can search for funding that will fit your project or programmatic request.
NN Recovery Team Leader