Obama seeks feedback on federal grant reform

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

After meeting with the nation’s governors earlier in the week, the White House proposed a set of reforms to streamline and simplify the federal grants process.

In an advance notice of proposed guidance published Tuesday in the Federal Register, the Office of Management and Budget announced that it was following up on a year-old executive order and proposing reforms that seek to “strengthen the oversight of federal grant dollars by aligning existing administrative requirements to better address continuing and emerging risks to program outcomes and integrity.”

The effort also is designed to reduce the burden on recipients and “increase efficiency and effectiveness of grant programs by eliminating unnecessary and duplicative requirements.”

U.S. Controller Danny Werfel wrote in a Thursday blog: “We are proposing to both hone and streamline audit requirements, known as the ‘single audit,’ to strengthen our focus on detecting and reducing waste, fraud and abuse, while reducing the burden on grantees.

“Specifically, we are considering a shift in our audit activities to higher dollar awards while further instructing auditors to ask more in-depth questions on the bottom line issue of whether taxpayer funds were used correctly,” Werfel wrote.

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