Congress Should Be Pointing the Finger Back at Itself

July 16, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

As we continue to wait (ergo, another snail) for the Office of Management and Budget to issue the final 2012 Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement (surely it’ll be posted online any minute now, surely it will), I thought I’d give some credit to one of the members of the Thompson grants publications editorial advisory board. Judith Turner of Turner Consulting Group made an excellent point in her recent blog post in reference to a Government Accountability Office report on the U.S. Department of Justice grant programs.

The GAO report chastised the agency, stating that DOJ could do more to reduce the risk of unnecessary duplication and overlap in its grant programs (more details on this report will be available in the September issue of the Federal Grants Management Handbook). But as Judith points out, the real culprit here is not the agency, but Congress. Congress establishes the programs that cause this overlap in the first place. Judith so wisely states,

“If DOJ — or any agency — is required to establish procedures to identify ‘the extent to which its grants programs overlap,’ it should involve Congress in solving the problem. The solutions should start with nipping new overlapping programs in the bud, when they are introduced as bills. Anywhere that programs overlap because Congress created overlapping programs, the problem should be dumped back in Congress’s lap.

Ah, if only that could happen…”

Excellent point, Judith. Your comments are spot on. It’s time for Congress to take more responsibility for its actions. Please take the opportunity to read Judith’s blog post when you get a chance.

Is there anyone out there who agrees, or disagrees, with this position? We’d be interested to hear from you.


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