Yes, you can use American Rescue Plan Act funds to purchase technology, including State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. The ARPA funding approach allows state, local, and tribal governments to drive recovery from their unique position and respond quickly to their known challenges and needs. Treasury wrote the spending criteria broadly to allow your local government to best address your unique challenges as long as you are adhering to the guidance. Technology is highlighted as a suitable and desirable expenditure to address the negative economic impacts caused by the public health crisis.
Specifically, under the “Addressing the negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency” section of the SLFRF Fact Sheet, bullet point #4 states that funding may be used for technology infrastructure to help rebuild public sector capacity.”
Rebuilding public sector capacity, by rehiring public sector staff and replenishing unemployment insurance (UI) trust funds, in each case up to pre-pandemic levels. Recipients may also use this funding to build their internal capacity to successfully implement economic relief programs, with investments in data analysis, targeted outreach, technology infrastructure, and impact evaluations.
If your locality is using or planning to use ARPA funding to set up a grant program that would distribute funds to local businesses, the tool you plan to use to manage and process the applications for that program, or to report on the funds for that program, could be procured using ARPA funding.
Ineligible uses according to Treasury include the following:
Funding debt service, legal settlements or judgments, and deposits to rainy day funds or financial reserves. General infrastructure spending is not covered as an eligible use outside of water, sewer, and broadband investments or above the amount allocated under the revenue loss provision for the time being.
ARPA funding can also be used for multi-year contracts, so you don’t have to worry so much about what happens to the funding for your project or technology next year.
Because of the flexibility of SLFRF funding, it’s likely that different governments will take varied approaches for identifying what your specific challenges are and how technology can help you solve for them. Your technology project is more likely to be reasonable, allocable, and allowable if you present a strategic plan that demonstrates your understanding of the problem, how this technology solution solves that problem, and that you have a plan to implement the technology. We have provided a template to get you started on outlining the details of your technology project plan here. Just fill in the table with your information and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions along the way.
As your grant management partner, AmpliFund can provide numerous tools, resources, and expertise to ensure your team has the knowledge to successfully understand and carry out processes that drive improved outcomes, and we will be there to help long after implementation is complete.
To see if your state, local, or tribal government could benefit from technology support before you start reporting on your funded projects, we have a checklist to help.
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