Sneak Preview: ETA Urged To Document That Programs Meet Goals

February 8, 2013 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(The following was excerpted from an article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) Although the Employment and Training Administration is generally complying with administrative requirements for discretionary grant oversight and closeout, it could do more to ensure that grant programs are achieving their intended goals, according to the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

After reviewing about 38 of the 560 discretionary grants the agency closed between April 2010 and March 2011, OIG found that ETA met federal and agency administrative guidelines for closeout, such as ensuring grantees complete forms in a timely manner and reconciling expenditures. However, grantees’ overall performance was not always evaluated and documented, and the agency did not show that performance results were used in the pre-award phase to improve future grant design.

ETA requires that federal project officers must certify grant performance outcomes at closeout, which includes the submission of required reports, a certification showing grant expenses complied with the grant agreement and a determination of acceptable performance. OIG found that ETA project officers certified all sampled grantees’ performance as acceptable, even though achievement of grant goals ranged from 0 percent to 100 percent. It also determined that ETA’s certification process for its programs, except for the Senior Community Service Employment Program, lacked criteria for defining acceptable performance.

“In the absence of a benchmark to measure grants, performance acceptability was inconsistent and ineffective,” OIG said. “Additionally, when ETA certified grants, the reasons for certifying performance as acceptable were not documented.” Two project officers even told OIG that they never certify a grant as unacceptable.


Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *