Recovery Act funding fuels Fermilab projects
Cindy Conger, chief financial officer and head of the Finance Section, wrote this week's column.
On May 15, Director Pier Oddone signed the final paperwork necessary for Fermilab to receive its first allocation of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds, and the Department of Energy put the funding in our contract the same day. We have received $31.9 million, and we are moving ahead on the general infrastructure projects and the NOvA project procurements that are funded by this allocation.
The federal government demands strict accountability and transparency with respect to the Recovery Act funding. Information on this can be found on the Web at www.recovery.gov under the link "Accountability and Transparency."
Fermilab has responded in various ways to meet these requirements. In March, I formed the Recovery Act Task Force at Fermilab, headed by Denise Keiner of the Finance Section. The RA Task Force has identified the applicable reporting requirements as promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget as well as various DOE offices. It is making sure the laboratory has the right systems and processes in place to meet the RA requirements for prime recipients of RA funds. Task Force members include people from Accounting, BSS's Procurement group, CD's MIS group, the Office of Communication, and an RA project manager. The Task Force has been working hard to understand the ever-evolving details on how and when to report what.
Fermilab submitted its first weekly report to DOE's Office of Science only four working days after the laboratory received its first allocation of funding. Every week, we will be reporting obligations, jobs created and retained, progress toward milestones and other data on each funded RA project. In addition, we expect to begin quarterly reporting this summer to a new federal Web site, still under construction at federalreporting.gov.
On May 6, Fermilab had its first visit from the DOE Inspector General's Office to begin its RA oversight work, a week and a half before we had received RA funds. We reviewed with them our preparations for spending and reporting on the RA funds, emphasizing the internal controls long in place for taking care of all the federal dollars entrusted to us by the American taxpayer. We anticipate many more visits by the IG as work on the RA projects progress.
We have created a special Web page on which we will post news and updates on Fermilab's Recovery Act projects. You can find the link to this page also on our home page at www.fnal.gov.