With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the nation is investing trillions to rebuild America’s roads, bridges, and rails; expand access to clean drinking water and high-speed internet; and build clean energy infrastructure in urban and rural communities.
Funding will flow through federal agencies to state and local governments, who must have the management systems to secure and administer the funds to comply with financial oversight requirements and programs such as those associated with Buy America. The immense scale of the program requires significant coordination between federal, state, local, and tribal governments, and challenges leaders to efficiently manage a huge portfolio of projects while ensuring on-time; on-budget delivery and protecting the public trust.
To help state and local governments maximize their infrastructure opportunity, CohnReznick has assembled an infrastructure team comprised of experienced infrastructure, grant and program management, financial and operational compliance, and technology and data experts. The integrated solutions we offer assist government leaders throughout the lifecycle of the infrastructure program.
In administering COVID-response programs, many agencies quickly realized they lacked the staff, data, and other resources to administer the funding and struggled to rapidly assist their constituents. CohnReznick’s Portfolio Management services help government officials identify in advance the capabilities needed to achieve infrastructure objectives and determine the staffing, data, and other resources needed to support effective management across hundreds of agencies and projects.
Needs Assessment & Resource Identification: We help governments catalogue their portfolio of programs and anticipated compliance requirements, recognize and aggregate data needed to support planning and implementation, identify available staff resources, and determine resource gaps that need to be filled with agency personnel or third-party providers.
Operational Framework Development: Aligning inter-agency stakeholders and resources into an operational management framework – one that establishes clear objectives, responsibilities, and tailored policies and procedures – provides a foundation to eliminate execution roadblocks and maintain program compliance with Federal requirements.
Coordination of Agency and Staff Resources: Once the framework is developed, stakeholders must be consulted, and agency resources educated as to their role in the framework. Since federal guidelines continue to be shaped, it is likely that program support needs will evolve throughout the life of the program, requiring consistent coordination or resources to drive compliance.
Reporting: Obtaining federal funding requires the ability to demonstrate compliance with federal guidelines and to report on successful program outcomes. We help government entities build the reporting processes and management dashboards to demonstrate impact while easing the burden on project and administrative personnel.
Grant and Loan Identification: The first step in securing funding is identifying the available formulaic and competitive grants and applicable loan programs that could be utilized to fund infrastructure programs. CohnReznick helps government identify the available options and requirements to maximize available funds.
Strategic Alignment of Applications and Projects: Coordinating applications across agencies and local government units to align the grant’s/loan’s purpose with available projects, while avoiding cannibalization and missed opportunities requires robust application management. CohnReznick designs a centralized administration process to prioritize and align funding opportunities.
Optimization of Application Resources: Preparing and tracking applications on this scale requires the coordination and assignment of application resources and staff. CohnReznick can design consistent processes, schedule resources, and supplement agency staff with experienced grant application professionals to submit strong applications and initiate grant administration activities.
Grant Administration: Effective grant administration requires extensive tracking on grants received and maintaining the detailed record of project activities needed to support compliance reporting. CohnReznick can coordinate multi-agency grant administration efforts and provide experienced grant administrative professionals to supplement in-house staff.
Process Improvement: Grant administrative processes are not static and need to evolve to fit changing agency and grant requirements as well as continuously improve to drive efficiency. CohnReznick provides world-class process improvement solutions that have been tested under the most strenuous of circumstances.
Agency Coordination and Feedback: Coordinating with federal administrators and oversight teams and state, local and tribal project teams is critical to efficient administration. Our experience on infrastructure and emergency management projects demonstrates our ability to coordinate large scale efforts under tight timelines and in a heavily scrutinized oversight environment.
Training: Training plays a critical role in empowering stakeholders with the information needed to carry out federal, state, and local projects in line with goals and policies. CohnReznick creates custom training programs and instructional videos to maintain compliance as guidelines evolve over the lifecycle of a project.
Dedicated Project Management Office (PMO): Establishing a PMO helps government plan project activities, monitor performance in a changing economic and regulatory environment, and maintain efficient operations. CohnReznick employs experienced program management staff that can be quickly assembled to perform strategic and operational management duties.
Innovative Solutions: Innovative technologies designed to augment communication and collaboration, automate manual activities, and enhance transparency help project managers improve operations and reduce risk. CohnReznick’s GOVCAP suite of AI, machine learning, process automation, and technology consulting solutions help us deliver the best value for our clients.
Policy/Procedure Development: Efficient operations on the scale of infrastructure projects requires the establishment of a robust set of policies and procedures that all project stakeholders commit to follow. CohnReznick aligns project resources to policies and procedures to manage efficient processes in such areas as contract management, quality control, and resource planning.
Data Management & Automation: Efficiently capturing, interpreting, and processing data is critical to making time-critical decisions and predicting and eliminating potential project roadblocks. A sound data strategy is embedded into CohnReznick’s project management solutions, enabling real-time decisions, and enhancing compliance and reporting activities.
Project Analytics: Establishing an analytic framework during project planning and aligning data management and operational processes to feed analytics is critical to efficacy. CohnReznick analytic solutions profile program demographics, project status, and key metrics to allow stakeholders to identify when a project has strayed from plan, allowing action to minimize delays and reduce cost.
Integrity Risk Assessments: Most infrastructure projects require a complex structure of contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers, and others that complicates risk management. CohnReznick helps identify and prioritize risk factors, design and test project controls to mitigate these risks, and reviews the efficacy of a risk management efforts.
Compliance & Integrity Monitoring: To maintain accountability to citizens, government must comply with stringent regulations, manage risk, and deliver on-time, on-budget performance. Through our compliance, monitoring, and oversight services, are designed to prevent fraud before it can occur and have stood up to public scrutiny on large public projects.
FWA Mitigation and Resolution: CohnReznick understands the challenges of rapidly launching infrastructure projects while maintaining a zero-tolerance stance against fraud, waste, and abuse. CohnReznick can provide on-site resources to observe construction and conduct onsite audits and investigations to resolve labor, safety, and M/W/DBE compliance, among other issues.
Construction: We have one of the largest and best regarded construction accounting, consulting, and monitoring practices in the country – providing in-depth understanding of the fiscal and operational practices involved in road, bridge, rail and tunnel construction. Learn more.
Energy: We help utilities, developers, infrastructure funds, and others develop clean energy solutions, providing capital market support, tax equity advisory, and technical accounting, tax, and consulting solutions to turn dreams into reality. See an example of our capabilities here.
Transportation: CohnReznick has provided audit and monitoring services to some of the nation’s leading airports, monitoring P3 infrastructure funds, and protecting taxpayer dollars on large infrastructure projects. Learn more about our qualifications here.
Broadband: Our teams is playing a critical role in providing financial, security and operational support for the Federal Communication’s Commission in their nationwide roll-out of 5G broadband internet. Check out an example of our capabilities.
Housing: In addition to being one of the nation’s foremost accountants and consultants in affordable housing and affordable housing tax credits, we also have a track record for supporting housing authorities in speeding rental and homeowner assistance to constituents. Take a look at how we’re impacting communities.
Government Impact: Collaborations with Federal, State & Local