Office Of Justice Programs Technical Assistance And Training Program
Audit Report No. 04-40
Office of the Inspector General
Monitoring by the Office of the Comptroller
The OC annually develops a risk-based monitoring plan that considers inherent programmatic and recipient risks.41 The OC applies the risk-based criteria to the universe of grants to develop a sample for each fiscal yearís monitoring plan. The reviews conducted include both on-site and in-house work. According to OJP officials, the purpose of the in-house reviews is to provide as much of a comprehensive financial review as possible without going on-site.
The OCís Monitoring Division is comprised of two branches that conduct financial monitoring of grantees, provide on-site technical assistance to grantees and program offices, conduct audit follow-up, and perform reviews of the OJP financial administration and controls.
The OC maintains the official grant files and is responsible for tracking the receipt of all grant documents. The OC receives the Progress Reports, files the original in the official grant file, and forwards a copy to the relevant bureau. The grant manager is responsible for the timely acceptance, review, and analysis of Progress Reports.
Monitoring by the Bureaus and Program Offices
The five bureaus and two program offices are also responsible for monitoring grantees and related activities, and documenting the results in the grant managerís program files and the OCís official grant files. The bureaus and program offices conduct monitoring to ensure:
The grant managersí primary responsibility is project monitoring. Each grant manager prepares a monitoring plan or Grant Managerís Memorandum (GMM). The GMM is an evolving document used throughout the life of a grant to ensure that goals and objectives are being met and that activities and products are completed in a timely fashion. The level of monitoring required is based upon the stated monitoring plan in the GMM, which includes:
The OJP has given monitoring priority to sites in which problems have been identified, implementation has been problematic, or where the grantee has specifically requested technical or other assistance. In addition to on-site visits, grant managers conduct periodic desk reviews and monitor grants telephonically. Monitoring may also be conducted as part of conferences and cluster meetings with grantees.
Telephonic and/or e-mail monitoring is done to communicate time-sensitive information, or when on-site visits are not feasible. The Grant Manager compiles a list of issues and familiarizes him or herself with the objectives of the grant. The Grant Manager then arranges a scheduling of calls to project and grantee staff to document and resolve issues and/or assess the implementation status of a project, according to stated objectives and time lines.
Frequency of Monitoring
Federal grant management entails both program management and financial management. For the TA&T grants that we reviewed, these responsibilities were split between the OC, which is responsible for financial management, and the respective bureaus, which are responsible for program management. According to the OJP grant managers whom we interviewed, all grants are monitored to "some degree."
The number of times a grant manager conducts an on-site visit is determined by each bureau or program office and depends on problems encountered during the course of the grant, budget resources, and level of grant activity. The OJPís past practice, however, has encouraged grant managers to conduct one monitoring visit per fiscal year, if time and resources permit, and to require quarterly telephone conversations and desk monitoring activities. Each grant manager establishes a monitoring schedule, which permits him or her to add issue-driven monitoring visits and technical assistance, if the need arises. The OJP management and grant managers stated that they attempt to identify projects that appear to need the most assistance (for example, grantees that have not previously received an OJP grant, and new planning grants) and prioritize travel schedules to include these sites.