Sneak Peek: ED Aims To Convey SFSF Monitoring Results Better

September 29, 2011 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(This post is based on an upcoming article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) The Department of Education plans to tell states that received State Fiscal Stabilization Fund dollars under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act about program monitoring results sooner.

ED’s SFSF monitoring efforts have varied, with some states waiting months to get feedback on monitoring results, the Government Accountability Office recently found. “When states do not receive timely feedback on monitoring findings, they may not have time to resolve these issues before they have obligated their SFSF funds. To ensure all state receive appropriate communication and technical assistance for SFSF, we recommend that [ED] establish mechanism to improve the consistency of communicating monitoring feedback to states, such as establishing internal time frames for conveying information found during monitoring.”

Although ED officials pointed out that the agency’s monitoring approach had to take into account the large amount of funding and the Recovery Act’s short time frames, they agreed that the SFSF monitoring protocols should include procedures for effectively communicating the status of monitoring feedback to states.

More information on the GAO report will be available in the November issue of the Federal Grants Management Handbook.

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