GAO Finds Nearly $1B in Expired Federal Grant Accounts

gaoThe Government Accountability Office found approximately $994 million sitting untouched in about 8,800 expired grant accounts under the authority of the Health and Human Services Dept.’s Payment Management System last year, according to a recent report.

The report said that auditor discovered that the total undisbursed balance increased by approximately $200 million from what GAO reported for the end of FY 2011. However, the number of expired grant accounts with undisbursed balances decreased to 8,832 in 2015 compared to 10,548 in 2011. More than half the accounts exceeded their expiration date by three years, the report said.

The report also found that:

  • A relatively small number of expired grant accounts represented more than half of the total undisbursed balance—151 grants represented $514.7 million in undisbursed balances.
  • HHS grant accounts comprised approximately $651 million (66%) of the identified undisbursed balances in expired grant accounts.
  • The number of expired grant accounts with no undisbursed balance flagged for closeout dropped to 5,906 from the more than 28,000 accounts GAO reported for the end of FY 2011.  

Agency officials told auditors that closeout delays can occur for a number of reasons, including grantee failure to submit final financial and performance reports and agency failure to review, process, and reconcile grantees’ final reporting in a timely manner. Agencies have implemented various internal policies to elevate the issue internally, including developing internal working groups that set grant closeout goals and analyzing the number of expired grants not yet closed out.

GAO recommends that OMB tell agencies to report undisbursed balances for expired grant accounts as required under their respective appropriations GAO also recommends that HHS require its grant-making operating divisions to identify grants expired more than one year past their period of performance end date.

Info: (report).

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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