The American Rescue Plan Act
(and its Impact on Public Records) Explained

State, local, territorial, and tribal government agencies are facing unprecedented strain in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, and the Federal Government is working tirelessly on the necessary steps to supply these entities with critical funding. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provides a substantial infusion of resources to eligible state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to help reverse the negative impacts of the pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. 

ARPA funding builds a bridge toward economic improvement and provides vital support to communities in crisis. With these funds, jurisdictions will be able to strengthen their support for vital public services hampered by the public health crisis, including managing and processing FOIA requests. We’ll explore how to request ARPA resources, using these funds for public records software, and attaining valuable resources to persuade organizational decision-makers that ARPA funds should be used to address challenges with processing public records.

As the honorable Judge Gary Moore, President of the National Association of Counties, pointed out in a recent NACo Membership Call: “This is a historic moment for states, counties and cities. Ten years from now, you may look back and wonder ‘What did we do with this opportunity? What did we do to make a difference in our [state/county/city]?’”

One investment you can be sure will make a difference for your staff and the citizens, corporations, media, and other governments that you serve will be improving your data-sharing capabilities with GovQA’s public records request processing software. With GovQA’s simplified, scalable, highly secure platform — supported by the GovQA Way proven expertise — you will be modernizing this mission-critical government service to deliver an efficient, uninterrupted response to the growing demand for public records and information — during and post-pandemic. 

Free eCourse – ARPA and public records

This 8-part eCourse will provide resources to help you convince others in your organization of the value of investing in a public records solution using ARPA funds. 

To keep up with the pace of increasing volume and complexity of public records – you are going to need to modernize your technology and deliver more government services – like public records – digitally.  

How Does My Organization Request ARPA Funds?

The U.S. Treasury has allocated distribution of ARPA funds on the state, county, and city levels. Eligible jurisdictions (states and local governments with populations of 50,000 or more) must submit a request for funding through the Treasury Submission Portal and provide the following information:

  • Jurisdiction name, taxpayer ID number, DUNS Number, and address
  • Authorized representative name, title, and email
  • Contact person name, title, phone, and email
  • Funds transfer information, including recipient’s financial institution, address, phone, and routing number and account number
  • Completed certification document (to be signed by the authorized representative)

Can ARPA Funds Be USED for Public Records Software?

The short answer is yes! The Treasury defines eligible uses of ARPA funds as:

  • Responding to the public health emergency by way of enforcement of public health orders (including safe remote work for staff and non-contact government services) and public communication and emergency response data-sharing efforts.
  • Providing government services to the extent of reduction in revenue as a result of COVID-19. ARPA funds can be used to provide any government service, including but not limited to police/first responder/public safety services and investments in modernizing cybersecurity.

Public records software solutions help staff manage public records requests from anywhere they have internet access (at home, in remote locations), making your organization less dependent on physical locations; and ensures staff safety and enforcement of public health orders. In addition, requesters can access requested records via an online portal for touch-free service that complies with public health orders.

Implementing and applying scalable workflow management platforms helps organizations release information and records (including those relating to the pandemic response) to the public with proactive posting, auto-follow, and other functions that deliver better government services to the American people. GovQA’s dynamic knowledgebase of emergency and other vital government information grows organically as new information becomes available, promotes self-service adoption by requesters, and streamlines a department’s efforts to get critical information out to the public more quickly. 

Quick-deployment software solutions replace aging IT systems with modern, secure cloud-based technology; increase your crisis preparedness; and allow your agency to continue providing essential functions uninterrupted and in a more efficient and secure manner. Additionally, full CJIS and HIPAA compliance strengthens your cybersecurity capabilities and protects sensitive PII and confidential data via the highly secure Microsoft Azure Government Cloud.

Influencing Decision-Makers to Use ARPA Funds to Improve FOIA Request Processing

Determining how to best use ARPA funds can seem overwhelming for some agencies and it can be helpful to have resources to help influence decision-makers that investing in public records software makes sense. The customizable funding request letter and email templates linked below outline the pandemic’s impact on the public records process, provide support for carefully selected eligible uses of funding, and detail key features of GovQA’s Public Records Response System.

ARPA funds provide much-needed relief to government agencies and help ensure critical economic recovery at every level. Learn more about funding objectives, how to request funding, or allocation information by visiting the U.S. Department of the Treasury

Access the US Treasury
Submission Portal

Access Portal

See the Updated
ARPA Guidelines

See Guidelines

Free eCourse – ARPA and public records

This 8-part eCourse will provide resources to help you convince others in your organization of the value of investing in a public records solution using ARPA funds. 

To keep up with the pace of increasing volume and complexity of public records – you are going to need to modernize your technology and deliver more government services – like public records – digitally.  

Other Lessons on ARPA Funding

ARPA Implications for Public Records