Sneak Preview: HRSA Aims To Improve Ryan White Grantee Oversight

September 14, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(The following was excerpted from an article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) The Health Resources and Services Administration is taking steps designed to improve the oversight of Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act grants by centralizing all monitoring documentation and enhancing its communication with grantees.

The agency’s oversight of Ryan White grants was harshly criticized in a recent Government Accountability Office report that found that HRSA did not consistently follow Department of Health and Human Services regulations when overseeing these grants.

HRSA project officers are responsible for overseeing the programmatic and technical aspects of grants by routinely monitoring grantee performance and compliance with program statutes, requirements and regulations. Such monitoring includes regularly scheduling monitoring calls, reviewing grantee reports and informing grantees about the type of follow-up action to take. Project officers also are required to make site visits, which HRSA prioritizes based on the length of time since the last visit and the grantee’s risk.

However, GAO found that HRSA project officers did not document routine monitoring calls with grantees. For example, only four of the 25 project officer files that GAO reviewed from 2010 and eight of the 25 files GAO reviewed from 2011 contained documentation that HRSA staff made monitoring calls at least quarterly. “While a lack of feedback might indicate that a project officer had no concerns about a grantee’s reports, project officers may be missing opportunities to use the information provided in reports to better communicate with grantees about their compliance with program requirements and help grantees make improvements,” GAO added.


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