Sneak Preview: NSF OIG To Sustain Use of Data Analytics Post-ARRA

October 19, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) Because the enhanced data mining and data analytics capabilities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has enabled it to conduct audits more efficiently and effectively, the National Science Foundation’s Office of Inspector General plans to continue using data analytics after the Recovery Act ends, according to a recent OIG report on lessons learned from the Recovery Act.

The report addressed innovative approaches that NSF and OIG undertook to implement Recovery Act requirements, as well as the resulting benefits and future steps. To ensure Recovery Act funds were spent properly, NSF increased monitoring and oversight over those awards. For example, the agency and its contractors conducted data quality reviews of Recovery Act recipients’ quarterly reports using automated data quality checks and other manual checks. NSF also established additional terms and conditions in Recovery Act awards to ensure compliance with Recovery Act legislation and NSF policies and procedures.

Starting in fiscal year 2010, NSF began to assign risk points for Recovery Act funded awards to ensure that the risks associated with the unique accountability and transparency requirements under the act were appropriately included as factors for selecting recipients to receive a site visit review. The agency enhanced its desk reviews and site visits of Recovery Act awards by adding a Recovery Act review module, and it closely monitored recipients’ submission of quarterly financial and programmatic reports.


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