The Cares Act provides assistance/money for state and local government agencies
The federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, also known as the CARES Act, makes funding available to State, Local, and Tribal governments dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The CARES Act only requires that the payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund only be used to cover expenses that:
- Are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19.)
- Were not accounted for in the agency budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government [agency]; and
- Were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 31, 2021.
The following reasons have been identified as eligible agency IT expenditures:
The need to facilitate compliance with COVID-19-related public health measures, such as to improve telework capabilities for public employees to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions.
Additionally, an argument can be made that because agency staff was forced to work from home due to COVID-19, FOIA response times and related litigation challenges could/should be covered and open up the opportunity to purchase new information management and archiving platforms to help alleviate COVID-caused FOIA document and eDiscovery issues.
How Archive360 can help with CARES Act funding
The economic shutdown created by COVID-19 has caused unplanned shortfalls on state and local government budgets. In 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, which included $150 billion in direct assistance for state, territorial, and tribal governments to ease the financial strain of state and local government spending on pandemic mitigation and response measures.
This aid, known collectively as the Coronavirus Relief Fund, provides each state with a minimum of $1.25 billion. Local governments with a population of at least 500,000 are also eligible for direct payments.
In March of 2021, the federal government passed another pandemic relief measure called the American Rescue Plan Act, giving states and local jurisdictions additional money, spread over several years, to help with the pandemic recovery. Of the approximately $350 billion for fiscal relief, 57 percent is allocated to states and 35 percent to local governments.
Archive360 is working with State and Local Governments throughout the United States to help them leverage available CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act funds. As a result, these agencies can better support their staff and citizens by improving their eDiscovery capabilities and reduce the cost and time required to respond to FOIA requests.
The Archive360 Archive2Azure cloud platform
Archive360 is the world's leader in secure data migration and intelligent information archiving and management. The Archive2Azure PaaS solution is a complete cloud-based information management and archiving solution for both structured and unstructured data installed in the agency's own Azure Cloud tenancy for increased security and functionality, consolidated information management, and fast/legally defensible FOIA and eDiscovery response.
Experts are now suggesting that even when the pandemic is over, many agency employees will continue to work from home at least part-time, so adopting a centralized cloud archive for FOIA request management will continue to provide the benefits mentioned above well into the future.