Sneak Preview: ACF To Boost Training on Corrective Action Plans

February 23, 2018 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Single Audit Information Service.) Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) said they will increase training for Head Start grant recipients to ensure that their corrective action plans resulting from single audit findings have enough elements to adequately resolve the findings, in response to recommendations in a recent HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit.

Head Start grantees that expend more than the single audit threshold are required to have a single audit. Under prior Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 (which applied to audits for federal fiscal years (FY) beginning before Dec. 26, 2014), the threshold was $500,000 expended annually. Under the uniform guidance (which applies to FY audits beginning after Dec. 26, 2014), the single audit threshold is $750,000 expended annually (§200.501(a)). The OIG report examined Head Start single audits from ACF Region II — which covers Head Start grantees in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — conducted during FY 2013 through FY 2015 under OMB Circular A-133.

The OIG found that although ACF had a process in place to ensure that Head Start recipients took corrective actions on A-133 audit findings, the administration did not always ensure resolution of recurring audit findings of grantees in Region II that submitted audit reports to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse. For six of the eight audit reports that OIG reviewed, ACF did not issue management letters within six months after receiving the reports. ACF Region II officials attributed this to a lack of grants staff — adding that it had only 10 grant management specialists to handle 211 Head Start grants — along with other workload issues and grants administration taking precedence over other activities.

In addition, when ACF Region II sent management letters to Head Start grantees with the corrective actions required to prevent recurrence of the findings, it did not establish specific dates for recipients to correct the deficiencies noted for three of the eight audit reports, OIG found. ACF explained that it did not include dates for recipients to complete corrective action because it felt that “the grantee is in [a] better position to determine when it can complete the corrective action.” Also, in five of the reports, ACF did not follow up with Head Start recipients to ensure that they actually took corrective actions to resolve audit findings.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

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  • Wednesday May 1 – Friday May 4 in ST LOUIS

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