Sneak Preview: NSF Plans Steps To Limit Overdue Project Reports

May 9, 2013 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) National Science Foundation officials expect to implement a report by October that will list grant awardees with annual or final project reports that are at least 90 days overdue to help program managers encourage timely submissions.

A recent audit by the NSF Office of Inspector General evaluated about 55,000 annual and/or final project reports that were either due or were already overdue between October 2010 and March 2012. It found that the agency had made significant progress compared to a similar OIG audit in 2004 that evaluated the timeliness of project reports.

In the current audit, the OIG found that the percentage of final reports submitted late declined from 53 percent in 2004 to 20 percent in the current audit, while the percentage of final reports not submitted declined from 8 percent to 5 percent. The percentage of annual reports not submitted also declined from 42 percent to 2 percent. Despite these declines, OIG determined that about 12,000 final and annual reports were submitted late and more than 1,500 final annual reports were not yet submitted.

“As a result of late or unsubmitted reports, NSF cannot fully assess the extent to which grantees have met their program goals and objectives for these awards with overdue reports,” OIG said. “Without timely annual project reports, NSF program officers may not be able to address potential problems that could impair the satisfactory performance of a funded project. In addition, if final project reports are not received timely, NSF management may not be fully informed about the results of the research it funded.”

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