On Monday, we reported that the State Department was among the very slowest of federal agencies to obligate its stimulus money. Out of $602 million appropriated to it by Congress, the department has put in process, or "obligated," just 24 percent ($144 million) and spent only 4 percent ($25 million). By comparison, federal agencies as a whole have obligated an average of 41 percent of their stimulus money, and paid out nearly 20 percent.
(You can compare the spending at the State Department with spending at other federal agencies by using our interactive Stimulus Progress Bar.)
We called State to ask about its slow rate of spending, and said we'd update our post when it replied. We’ve just heard back, and here's the reply:
"The Department of State will fully obligate all funding appropriated through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act by September, 2010. Our spending to date is in line with our plans, and reflects the long-term nature of several of our projects that involve site acquisition and construction activities to be accomplished over time. These projects are being undertaken in conjunction with the General Services Administration. The Department's largest project, $220 million for the International Boundary and Water Commission, will continue to award construction contracts through 2009, with construction estimated to be completed by September, 2011."