The OJPís response to the audit (Appendix XIII) describes the actions taken or plans for implementing our recommendations. This appendix summarizes our response and the actions necessary to close the report. In addition to responding to the recommendations, the OJP provided additional comments in their response to which we wish to respond.
The OJP states that the GMS system has been in widespread use since January 2003. We clarified our report to state that while the OJP has mandated that the GMS be used by its various components, several of the GMS modules were not fully operational during our audit period. Two examples of essential reports used by OJP to monitor a grantees progress that were not fully operational in the GMS during our audit period were the Progress Report and Financial Status Report (SF 269). The Progress Report Module was implemented in January 2004, but several grantees did not utilize the GMS to submit Progress Reports because they had grants that were awarded prior to the initial implementation of the GMS. Utilization of the SF 269 module to report actual grant expenditures quarterly will not be required until FY 2005.
- Resolved. The OJP stated that it is committed to providing the training necessary to ensure that grant managers are adequately equipped to administer grants. Beginning in October 2004, the Office of the Comptroller (OC) will conduct a series of training sessions for all grant managers that will include topics such as grantee reporting, allowable costs, monitoring, and grant closeout.
The BJA indicated that its monitoring system has been revamped and improved significantly. The BJA Monitoring Guide has been revised and updated and outlines a new monitoring protocol. An automated risk assessment tool, known as the Priority Monitoring Assessment, is currently being developed and will identify key factors associated with the performance and program compliance of a specific grantee and grant program.
The BJA also plans to train all BJA staff and managers on these performance requirements and protocols in early FY 2005. The training will cover topics such as the BJA monitoring documentation policies, roles and responsibilities of BJA staff relative to monitoring, monitoring plan development, and risk assessment.
In August 2002, the OJJDP developed protocols and standard forms for grant administration. These protocols and standard forms are now being used by OJJDP staff. In the past year, the OJJDP implemented the practice of sending new staff to professional grant monitoring training. This training covers all aspects of grant monitoring. The OJJDP will also assess whether there are other staff members who have not attended the monitoring classes and who would benefit from this training.
The OJJDP also stated that it is committed to providing financial training to all grant managers and will require all of its grant managers to attend financial training that the OC will provide in FY 2005.
This recommendation can be closed when the OJP provides the OIG with the following documentation:
- The OCís schedules and agendas for its grant managers training sessions.
- The BJAís performance requirements and protocol training schedules and agendas for its grant managers and staff.
- The OJJDPís training needs assessment along with the projected plan and schedule for providing such training.
- Resolved. The OJP stated that the functionalities within GMS have increased dramatically over the last year, in particular the peer review, grant monitoring, progress reporting and sub-grant reporting. The OJP is streamlining several grant business processes that have not been automated in the GMS. The OJP expects the following modules to be completed by the end of FY 2005: Grant Adjustment Notices, Close Out, External User Administration, Financial Monitoring, and Payment Request Support Subsystem. As part of implementation protocol for the deployment of new GMS modules, grant managers will receive appropriate training to utilize the system.
This recommendation can be closed when the OJP provides the OIG with documentation showing its schedule for completing and implementing the remaining GMS modules and that grant managers are trained to utilize this system.
- Resolved. The OJP stated that performance measures have been required in every grant award since January 2002 and that the development of performance measures for all grants is an ongoing OJP initiative. As part of its efforts, on September 23, 2004, the OJP sponsored in-house training on performance measures that was facilitated by the United States Department of Agriculture Graduate School. The objective of the training was to help OJP staff understand the requirements of the Office of Management and Budgetís June 2003 guidance, Performance Measurement Challenges and Strategies.
In coordination with the OJPís Office of Budget and Management Services (OBMS) and the Institute for Law and Justice, the BJA is developing performance measures for all BJA grants. Performance measures were formally adopted for all competitively funded grants beginning with the FY 2003 awards.
The BJA has instituted a training workshop on measuring performance for the five BJA regional conferences for grantees that are scheduled in late FY 2004 and early FY 2005. Topics covered in this workshop will include GPRA, Outcome Measure, and the Program Assessment Rating Tool. The training will concentrate on outcome measures.
In coordination with the OBMS and Caliber Associates, the OJJDP is developing a standardized performance measurement system. Performance measures will be included in all OJJDP grants awarded in FY 2005. OJJDPís staff will be trained to monitor the performance measures by the end of FY 2005. The OJJDP indicated that it will work with the training and technical assistance providers to set up mechanisms to evaluate the effectiveness of services, such as participant surveys and post follow-up services. These mechanisms will require conditions of all grant awards.
This recommendation can be closed when the OJP provides the OIG with performance or outcome measures for TA&T grants.