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Transparency and Accountability in Federal Funding – Is ARRA Like Reporting for All Grants and Contracts Coming Your Way? Cornelia Chebinou Washington.

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Presentation on theme: "Transparency and Accountability in Federal Funding – Is ARRA Like Reporting for All Grants and Contracts Coming Your Way? Cornelia Chebinou Washington."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transparency and Accountability in Federal Funding – Is ARRA Like Reporting for All Grants and Contracts Coming Your Way? Cornelia Chebinou Washington Director, NASACT

2 The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act Known as the DATA Act – HR 2146/S 1222 – Introduced in June of 2011 – Darrell Issa (R-CA) /Mark Warner (D-VA) – HR 2146 – 14 co-sponsors Passed House Government Reform and Oversight Committee about one week after introduction Awaiting Floor Action – S 1222 Still awaiting action in Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee

3 DATA ACT Creates multi-tier reporting – Includes reporting for recipients of federal funds to report at least quarterly – Reporting will be a condition of the award – Recipient Reporting Exemption Total amount of federal awards less than $100,000 in current calendar or fiscal year OR No transaction for which a recipient has received federal funds has exceeded $24,999 Commission has authority to grant additional exemptions

4 DATA Act Recipient Reporting Includes – Identification – name location (zip+4), executive agency, federal award, program to which award was awarded, total amount of federal funds received from agency during period covered by the report, detailed list of projects and activities for which federal funds were expended, if prime an identification of all sub- award, if sub-award then identification of prime award AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION the commission shall require by rule. – Allows by rule that primes may complete the requirements for sub-awardees

5 DATA Act Requires Federal agencies to report obligations and expenditures to the new commission at least quarterly – Can use information already being reported to other government-wide financial databases Builds on FFATA- expands what is required to be reported and made available Specifically requires: identification of recipient including name location(cong. district), parent entity, executive agency, id of federal award, program if applicable, total amount of award, total amount received by recipient during period of report, information on the award (transaction type, NAIC #, CFDA ( if applicable), program source and award title descriptive of purpose of funding action) and other information determined by commission by rule.

6 DATA Act Requires Dept. of Treasury to report to commission ( at least quarterly) on disbursements of federal funds. – Content TBD by Treasury and Commission but must should identify programs, budget functions, Treasury accounts and appropriation categories Continues a commission similar to the RATB Requires commission to establish common data elements / standards ( all reports must use – recipient, agency and Treasury) Requires commission to report to Congress on each agencies compliance

7 DATA Act The Establishment of a Board/Commission – Will not get into detail as the original provisions are being amended ( manager’s amendment) – Will essentially be a continuation of the Recovery Board will clearer lines between IG type functions

8 DATA ACT Requires commission to publish online information - to serve as public portal – Include all information from recipients and agencies – Timely and original format – Without charge and easily searchable – Will aggregate information that may be exempt from recipient reporting but that is reported by a federal agency

9 GRANT Act Grant Reform and Transparency Act of 2011 HR Introduced November 2011 – James Lankford (R-OK) Reported out of Committee on Oversight and Government Reform 1 day after being introduced

10 Grant Act Develops certain standards in the awarding of Federal awards Merit based selection procedures – establish and make publically available. – Agency will have ability to tailor procedures but must: Provide advance notification of grant opportunity Have a clear statement of purpose A description of the manner in which the application will be evaluated, ranked and selected

11 Grant Act Pre-Award Evaluation- Requires agency to conduct evaluation of grantee’s ability to carry out the award – Financial management system – Internal controls – Capacity to comply with reporting – Past performance and other competence Also review any SA findings and try to minimize any burden on an applicant whom has previously received a significant amount of Federal awards

12 Grant Act WEBSITE – OMB to upgrade any existing or proposed website for finding and applying for federal grants – Post competitive grants

13 Grant Act Website Cont’d Allow applicants to: – Use on any computer platform – Search competitive grants by purpose, funding agency, program source or other relevant criteria – Apply for competitive grant – Manage, track and report on use of competitive grants – Provide all certifications and assurances

14 Grant Act Website Cont’d Grant Award Information – Within 15 days of grant awardee notification Executed grant agreement Copy of proposal, application or plan Award decision document and ranking – Basis for selection – Number of proposals – Numerical ranking if assigned Justification if deviated from ranking

15 Grant Act Website Cont’d Grant Award Information Cont’d – Disclosure Name, title and employer of peer reviewers for grant program during the 6-month period preceding the award Name, title and employer of each individual serving as reviewer for proposals or applications Exception to posting – – Agency determines posting would adversely affect applicant they may only post an abstract or the agency may post the entire proposal by a date certain after consultation with applicant

16 Grant Act Website Cont’d Grant Performance Information – Within 60 days after end of period for completion of grant, agency must post: Final report Other data that could be of interest Forecast of solicitations – No later than Nov 30, head of agency shall post a forecast of all grant solicitations expected for the next calendar year

17 Grant Act Website Cont’d – Transparency Information on website must: – Be in original format – Available free of charge – Searchable – Downloadable in bulk – Disseminated by automated electronic means – Freely shared – Resource locators – Have opportunity for public input on usefulness/improvements

18 Grant Act Agency must provide an applicant with a debriefing if requested for awards in excess of $100,000 explaining the basis for the award. Requires OMB to issue guidance on merit based selection procedures no later than 60 days after enactment. Agencies to develop procedures within 180 days of enactment. US Comptroller General to issue report ( 1 year after date of enactment) to relevant committees on actions take to establish merit based procedures.

19 Grant Act OMB must also issue guidance to agencies within 90days on identification of undisbursed amounts (period of availability has expired)must also (within 180 days) submit to relevant committees plans on what they are doing about undisbursed funds Comptroller General must submit a report on grants workforce ( within 180 days to relevant committees) – Size of federal grants workforce – Adequacy of training opportunities – Whether federal acquisition institute or other existing entity shall be made available for federal grants training – Whether a warrant system similar to the federal acquisition system should be established for federal officials authorized to award grants – Use by executive agencies of suspension and disbarment actions against grantees for 3 yrs proceeding submission of report and agency resource assigned to such – Recommendations for improving grants workforce

20 Grant Act Plan for Single Audit Improvements – No later that 180 days, director of OMB shall submit to relevant committees a plan for improving the single audit process to include: Centralized federal government oversight structure Simplified alternative SA for entities of small federal awards Proposal for shortening the SA cycle including times for audit completion and federal agency resolution Identification of necessary legislative changes Description of key milestones for implementation – No later than 180 days after plan is submitted, OMB shall submit a report to the relevant agencies on implementation of each element of the plan


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