The Department of Justice’s Grant Closeout Process

Audit Report 07-05
December 2006
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix III
Grant Closeout Findings Identified by the OJP’s
Business Process Improvement Design Group41

In September 2005,the Office of Justice Programs completed a review of its grant closeout process.42 The goal of this review was to evaluate the closeout process it identified as “burdensome and problematic” in order to design a new streamlined closeout process that would bring standardization, efficiency and automation to OJP. In its analysis OJP identified the following areas of concern related to its grant closeout process:

Issue Implication

Manual process is too lengthy or involved for grant managers’ volume of closeouts

  • A combination of the lengthy and cumbersome current process, along with lack of prioritization of closeouts by management, results in closeouts not being completed within established timeframes.

No standard method of communication between the grantee and OJP program office, OJP program office and the OC, and the OC and grantee

  • Consistent language, timeframes, and requirements are not communicated to grantees across OJP program offices and the OC, and even across grant managers within a particular OJP program office. This results in inconsistent customer services and confusion for grantees who work with multiple OJP offices.
  • Workload is increased in the OC by having to check for different forms, signatures, and notations on closeout packages from each of the different OJP program offices.

Inability to accommodate workforce changes (grant managers) in a timely manner

  • Grants are left unattended and unsupervised when a grant manager leaves and a new grant manager is not immediately assigned. This lapse in grant management has numerous implications for OJP and makes these grants especially difficult to close at the end of the grant because of the loss of familiarity with the grant and grant staff.

No dissemination of monitoring data in OJP program offices

  • Grant managers who do not have adequate access to the OC monitoring list will submit closeout packages to the OC where they will be placed on hold until monitoring issues are resolved and holds are released. OJP program offices are not always aware when a closeout package is placed on hold in the OC.

Inconsistent system and methods for completing closeout packages

  • Each OJP program office complies and processes closeout packages differently. This non-standard approach does not facilitate a shared knowledge base for closeout across OJP, results in inconsistencies for grantees who work with multiple OJP program offices, and creates additional work for the OC during review of closeout packages.

Upon completing its review, OJP identified the following areas and recommendation for improvement. Specifically:

  1. All findings listed were identified by OJP in its report entitled, Grant Closeout: Business Improvement Recommendations, Final Version, September 15, 2005.

  2. This review was conducted by OJP Business Process Improvement (BPI) Design Group, which was comprised of representatives from OJP program and support offices. The BPI is an OJP Executive Steering Committee initiative that supports the OJP Management Plan goal of improving OJP’s core business processes.

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