This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-10-57 
entitled 'Grant Monitoring: Department of Education Could Improve Its 
Processes with Greater Focus on Assessing Risks, Acquiring Financial 
Skills, and Sharing Information' which was released on November 19, 
2009. 

This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part 
of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to Webmaster@gao.gov. 

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately. 

Report to Congressional Requesters: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

November 2009: 

Grant Monitoring: 

Department of Education Could Improve Its Processes with Greater Focus 
on Assessing Risks, Acquiring Financial Skills, and Sharing 
Information: 

GAO-10-57: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-10-57, a report to congressional requesters. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The Department of Education (Education) awards about $45 billion in 
grants each year to school districts, states, and other entities. In 
addition, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided 
an additional $97 billion in grant funding. In a series of reports from 
2002 to 2009, Educationís Inspector General cited a number of grantees 
for failing to comply with financial and programmatic requirements of 
their grant agreements. GAO was asked to determine: (1) what progress 
Education has made in implementing a risk-based approach to grant 
monitoring, (2) to what extent Educationís program offices have the 
expertise necessary to monitor granteesí compliance with grant program 
requirements, and (3) to what extent information is shared and used 
within Education to ensure the effectiveness of grant monitoring. To do 
this, GAO reviewed agency documentation related to Educationís internal 
controls and interviewed senior Education officials and staff in 12 of 
the 34 offices that monitor grants. 

What GAO Found: 

In October 2006, Education began to look at ways to improve the 
efficiency and effectiveness of the departmentís grant management 
processes; in particular, it sought ways to more effectively monitor 
its grants after they were made. In 2007, Education created the Risk 
Management Service (RMS) to work with all components of the department 
to ensure that each office has an effective risk management strategy in 
place. 

Effective monitoring protocols and tools based on accepted control 
standards are key to ensuring that waste, fraud, and abuse are not 
overlooked and program funds are being spent appropriately. Such tools 
include identifying the nature and extent of grantee risks and managing 
those risks, having skilled staff to oversee grantees to ensure they 
are using sound financial practices and meeting program objectives and 
requirements, and using and sharing information about grantees 
throughout the organization. Our review of Educationís current grant 
monitoring processes and controls found that it: 

* Has made uneven progress in implementing a department-wide, risk-
based approach to grant monitoring. Education has not disseminated 
department-wide guidance on grantee risk assessment, but it has planned 
some new efforts in this area. In the absence of guidance on a 
department-wide risk assessment strategy, individual program offices 
have developed their own strategies for assessing and managing risk 
that vary in rigor. 

* Has limited financial expertise and training, hindering effective 
monitoring of granteesí compliance with financial requirements. 
Education has monitoring tools that aid in reviewing basic financial 
compliance, but the lack of staff expertise limits the ability to probe 
more deeply into granteesí use of funds. 

* Lacks a systematic means of sharing information on grantees and 
promising practices in grant monitoring throughout the department. 

These shortcomings can lead to weaknesses in program implementation 
that ultimately result in failure to effectively serve the students, 
parents, teachers, and administrators those programs were designed to 
help. 

Figure: Gaps in Grant Monitoring at Education: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration] 

Properly assessing risk; 
Having required skills and resources; 
Sharing information. 

Source: GAO analysis. 

[End of figure] 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends Education improve its oversight of risk management, 
increase financial expertise among its grant monitoring staff, and 
develop an accessible mechanism to share information. Education 
generally agreed with our recommendations and provided additional 
information on its monitoring practices. We incorporated that 
information when appropriate. 

View [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-57] or key 
components. For more information, contact Cornelia Ashby at (202) 512-
7215 or ashbyc@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Background: 

Education Has Made Uneven Progress in Implementing a Department-wide, 
Risk-based Approach to Grant Monitoring: 

Limitations in Financial Expertise and Training Hinder Education's 
Ability to Effectively Monitor Grantees: 

Limitations in Education's Information-Sharing Systems Hinder Effective 
Grant Monitoring: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Comparison of Grant Funding in the Department of 
Education's Principal and Program Offices: 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Education: 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Table: 

Table 1: Twelve Program Offices Reviewed: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Organizational Structure at the Department of Education: 

Figure 2: The Grant Life Cycle at the Department of Education: 

Figure 3: Opportunities for Sharing Information about Recipients of 
Multiple Education Grants: 

Figure 4: Comparison of Grant Funding in Education Department Principal 
Offices: 

Abbreviations: 

Education: Department of Education: 

OCFO: Office of Chief Financial Officer: 

OPE: Office of Postsecondary Education: 

OSEP: Office of Special Education Programs: 

Recovery Act: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: 

RMS: Risk Management Service: 

SASA: Student Achievement and School Accountability: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

November 19, 2009: 

The Honorable John P. Kline:
Ranking Member:
Committee on Education and Labor:
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Michael Castle:
Ranking Member:
Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education: 
Committee on Education and Labor:
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Howard P. "Buck" McKeon: 
House of Representatives: 

The Department of Education (Education) administers about 200 programs 
that award grants totaling about $44 billion per year to state and 
local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and other 
eligible entities. Currently, there are 18,650 grantees with open grant 
awards from Education. In addition, as part of the American Recovery 
and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act),[Footnote 1] Congress 
dramatically increased Education's grant funding by an additional $97 
billion. However, in a series of reports between 2002 and 2009, the 
Department of Education's Office of Inspector General identified a 
number of problems related to the management of grant funding by state 
and local educational agencies and institutions of higher education. 
Such findings raise questions about Education's ability to monitor its 
grantees, particularly when coupled with such a large increase in 
funding from the Recovery Act. How well Education, or any agency, can 
oversee grantees depends on the management and accountability tools and 
controls it has in place to properly implement monitoring in order to 
prevent or detect abuses by grantees. Such tools and controls include 
identifying the nature and extent of risks and managing those risks, 
having skilled staff to implement oversight activities to ensure that 
program objectives are fulfilled, and using and sharing relevant 
information throughout the organization. If any of the tools or 
controls are weak or not in place in a grant monitoring process, there 
is heightened risk of the program not fully meeting its objectives. 

Because of the Office of Inspector General's findings and other reports 
on the improper use of funds by grantees and the implications for how 
well Education monitors its grants, you asked us to review Education's 
grant monitoring process. In meeting with your staff, we agreed to 
examine various aspects of Education's grant monitoring. Specifically, 
our objectives were to determine: (1) What progress has Education made 
in implementing a risk-based approach to grant monitoring? (2) To what 
extent do Education's program offices have the expertise necessary to 
monitor grantees' compliance with grant program requirements? (3) To 
what extent is information shared and used within Education to ensure 
the effectiveness of grant monitoring? 

To answer these questions, we used information collected from current 
and past GAO engagements related to grant monitoring,[Footnote 2] and 
held additional discussions with department officials to gain an 
understanding of grant monitoring at Education. We documented our 
understanding of Education's grant monitoring process and asked 
department officials to review the document and provide comments. They 
confirmed that our understanding was consistent with their grant 
monitoring practices and procedures. We based our evaluation of 
Education's grant monitoring process on GAO's standards for internal 
control in the federal government. We selected 12 of the department's 
34 program offices from which to obtain more detailed information about 
their grant monitoring activities (see table 1). We selected these 
program offices because they encompass a wide variety of grant programs 
and they administer approximately 91 percent of grant funds in the 
department. Nine of the 12 program offices reside in four of the 
principal offices, which collectively administer the department's 
largest grant programs in terms of total funding. To ensure that we 
included programs from all seven of the principal offices administering 
grants to entities that provide education or education-related services 
to students, we also selected the program offices that administered the 
largest amount of grant funds in the other three principal offices. 
[Footnote 3] (Appendix I illustrates where the offices we selected are 
in Education's principal office structure.) 

Table 1: Twelve Program Offices Reviewed: 

Principal office: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; 
Program office: Student Achievement and School Accountability; 
Total grant funds administered: $14,429,333,331; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 32.6%. 

Principal office: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; 
Program office: Academic Improvement and Teacher Quality Programs; 
Total grant funds administered: $5,130,800,896; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 11.6%. 

Principal office: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; 
Program office: Impact Aid Programs; 
Total grant funds administered: $1,240,717,000; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 2.8%. 

Principal office: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; 
Program office: Office of Migrant Education; 
Total grant funds administered: $415,009,353; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 0.9%. 

Principal office: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services; 
Program office: Office of Special Education Programs; 
Total grant funds administered: $11,957,593,817; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 27.0%. 

Principal office: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services;
Program office: Rehabilitation Services Administration; 
Total grant funds administered: $3,169,591,222; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 7.2%. 

Principal office: Office of Vocational and Adult Education; 
Program office: Academic and Technical Education Division; 
Total grant funds administered: $1,271,880,064; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 2.9%. 

Principal office: Office of Vocational and Adult Education; 
Program office: Adult Education and Literacy Division; 
Total grant funds administered: $576,494,357; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 1.3%. 

Principal office: Office of Postsecondary Education; 
Program office: Higher Education Preparation and Support Service; 
Total grant funds administered: $897,209,118; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 2.0%. 

Principal office: Office of English Language Acquisition; 
Program office: Continuation and Professional Grants Division; 
Total grant funds administered: $720,547,414; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 1.6%. 

Principal office: Office of Innovation and Improvement; 
Program office: Parental Options and Information; 
Total grant funds administered: $400,299,834; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 0.9%. 

Principal office: Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools; 
Program office: Drug-Violence Prevention - State Programs; 
Total grant funds administered: $290,102,482; 
Percentage of Education grant funds: 0.7%. 

Percentage of total Education grant funds covered by review: 91.5%. 

Source: GAO analysis of Department of Education data. 

[End of table] 

We interviewed the directors and other supervisory staff involved in 
grant monitoring in these 12 offices and held discussions in each 
office with groups of program specialists ranging from 4 to 10 program 
specialists.[Footnote 4] In offices with large numbers of program 
specialists, we interviewed random samples of program specialists. 
[Footnote 5] In smaller offices, we interviewed all the program 
specialists who were available to meet with us. From these interviews, 
we obtained information on how grant monitoring was implemented by 
program office staff, which monitoring activities staff considered to 
be reasonably effective in ensuring compliance with federal 
requirements, and where improvements in the grant monitoring process 
were needed. 

We corroborated the information from the interviews and small group 
discussions with review and analysis of plans, guidance, and protocols 
used by each program office to conduct its monitoring, as well as 
documentation concerning monitoring outcomes, interviews with officials 
from department management, and the results of outside evaluations or 
audits. 

We conducted this performance audit from November 2008 to November 2009 
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 
The standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe the 
evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

Background: 

Department of Education: 

The Department of Education's mission is to promote student achievement 
and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational 
excellence and ensuring equal access. Toward this end, Education 
distributes federal grant funds to applicants throughout the nation to 
improve access to and the quality of education. Education supplements 
and complements the efforts of states, local school systems, the 
private sector, public and private nonprofit educational research 
institutions, other community-based organizations, parents, and 
students. 

Education has seven principal offices that administer grants to 
entities that provide education or education-related services to 
students (see figure 1). The principal offices focus on specific areas 
of education, such as special education, elementary and secondary 
education, and postsecondary education. Within each of these principal 
offices, there are individual program offices responsible for one or 
more specific grant programs. For example, the Office of Special 
Education Programs and the Rehabilitation Services Administration are 
program offices in the principal Office of Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services. Program offices have directors, supervisors, 
and program specialists responsible for the everyday administration of 
grants in the department. Department-wide offices--the Risk Management 
Service, Office of Chief Financial Officer, Office of General Counsel, 
and Budget Service--provide technical assistance and guidance to the 
principal and program offices. 

Figure 1: Organizational Structure at the Department of Education: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration] 

Department of Education: 
Technical assistance and guidance from: 
* Office of General Counsel (OGC); 
* Budget Service (BS); 
* Risk Management Service (RMS); 
* Office of Chief Financial Officer (OCFO). 

Second level, under the Department of Education: 

* Office of English Language: 
Number of program offices: 2. 

* Office of Vocational and Adult Education: 
Number of program offices: 3. 

* Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Service: 
Number of program offices: 3. 

* Office of Postsecondary Education: 
Number of program offices: 5. 

* Office of Elementary and Secondary Education: 
Number of program offices: 6. 

* Office of Innovation and Improvement: 
Number of program offices: 6. 

* Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools: 
Number of program offices: 6. 

Program Offices are made up of: 
* a Program Director; 
* one or more Supervisors; 
* multiple Program Specialists. 

Source: GAO analysis of Department of Education information; seal 
(DOE). 

[End of figure] 

Grant Monitoring at Education: 

Education describes its grant management processes as a "cradle-to- 
grave" strategy. As shown in figure 2, this strategy includes phases 
for pre-award, award, post-award, and close-out. Monitoring to ensure 
administrative, financial, and performance compliance occurs primarily 
during the post-award phase, after the grantee has successfully applied 
for and been awarded a grant from Education. 

Figure 2: The Grant Life Cycle at the Department of Education: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration] 

Pre-Award and Award Monitoring: 
Activities necessary for selecting applications, awarding new grants 
and making continuation awards for existing Education grants. 

Post-Award Monitoring: 
Develops partnership with grantees in order to administer and monitor 
grant awards; 
* Grant Monitoring: 
- Performance Compliance: Assessing the extent to which projects meet 
grant program goals and objectives; 
- Administrative Compliance: Seeking adherence to legislative and 
regulatory requirements, applicable policies, as well as terms and 
conditions of the grant; 
- Financial Compliance: Reviewing drawdowns and expenditures to ensure 
adherence to federal cash management regulations. 

Close-Out Monitoring: 
Starts when project period ends and continues until all required 
reports are submitted and there are no funds left in grant account. 

Source: GAO analysis of Department of Education information. 

[End of figure] 

In Education, grant monitoring is the responsibility of each program 
office. Each program office has the flexibility to tailor its 
monitoring to its respective grant programs. For example, program 
offices that oversee formula grants to state agencies generally conduct 
on-site monitoring on a 3-to-5-year cycle but can make more frequent 
visits if necessary. For discretionary grants, site visits to the 
recipients are generally less frequent, in part because of the 
relatively small size of the awards and the relatively large number of 
discretionary grant awards made by the department. Relatively more desk-
top monitoring is used in monitoring discretionary grants. In general, 
recipients of grants from Education must: 

* conform to the approved grant application and approved revisions; 

* adhere to laws, regulations, conditions of the grant, and 
certifications; 

* share progress on established performance measures; and: 

* manage federal funds according to federal cash management 
requirements. 

Education's grant monitoring practices and procedures require that 
program office staff undertake numerous activities to monitor grantees 
for compliance with administrative, financial, and performance 
regulations and requirements to protect against fraud, waste, and abuse 
of federal resources. These activities include on-site visits and desk 
reviews of grantees, review of annual reports submitted by grantees, 
and evaluation of grant projects with respect to performance. For 
example, some financial monitoring activities that program office staff 
perform include reviewing reports generated in the Grant Administration 
and Payment System, Education's primary information system and tool for 
financial oversight, and available audit reports. In cases where 
technical assistance and normal monitoring do not improve grantee 
performance, special grant conditions may be imposed on the grantee 
such as requiring the grantee to obtain prior approval for certain 
expenditures. Findings of material noncompliance are reported to other 
offices in Education, such as the Office of General Counsel, while 
findings of potential illegal activity involving fraud, waste, and 
abuse are reported to the Office of Inspector General for further 
action. Continuous monitoring of grantees offers program office staff 
the opportunity to provide customized technical assistance, appropriate 
feedback, and follow-up to help grantees improve in areas of need, 
identify project strengths, and recognize significant achievements. 

Education Has Made Uneven Progress in Implementing a Department-wide, 
Risk-based Approach to Grant Monitoring: 

Education allows individual program offices to develop their own 
procedures for assessing grantee risk. While the department has not yet 
provided department-wide guidance on grantee risk assessment, the Risk 
Management Service (RMS) is planning to introduce several new efforts 
designed to help in this area. In the absence of a department-wide 
strategy for risk assessment procedures, we found that in the program 
offices we visited, the procedures for assessing grantee risk varied in 
rigor, with some offices using a variety of indicators or data elements 
to measure relative risk, while others had no formal grantee risk 
assessment process in place. 

Education Has Not Yet Provided Department-wide Guidance on Risk 
Assessment but Is Developing New Grantee Risk Assessment Tools: 

Federal guidance directs that management should identify internal and 
external risks that may prevent an organization from meeting its 
objectives.[Footnote 6] In 2007, the department's Grants Pilot Project 
Team recommended the establishment of a coordinated, comprehensive, and 
department-wide approach to risk-based grant monitoring for 
discretionary and formula grants. The Secretary created RMS in October 
2007 to work with all components of the department to ensure that each 
office has effective procedures in place to assess and mitigate risk 
among its grantees. Specifically, RMS is to develop tools to assess 
grantee risk for use throughout the department and train department 
staff to use the tools.[Footnote 7] RMS has not yet issued department- 
wide guidance on assessing grantee risk, and key guidance, such as the 
updated discretionary grant handbook, does not provide information on 
how to develop a risk-based approach to monitoring grants. Program 
officials said that such guidance would be a valuable tool for program 
offices in developing their own risk assessment procedures. RMS is 
currently testing software it developed that would assist Education 
staff in evaluating grantee risk. For example, the new software 
collects financial information from Dun and Bradstreet, among other 
sources, and uses that information to calculate a score reflecting the 
financial stability of grantees. The software will also help with risk 
assessment by providing other information from agency and outside 
sources, along with relevant findings from grantee audits. However, RMS 
does not have a timetable for using this new software throughout the 
department. 

RMS has worked closely with the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) 
to develop risk assessment procedures, and hopes to work with officials 
in the other principal offices for this purpose. RMS helped OPE develop 
an index that ranks the potential risk level of grantees based on such 
risk criteria as net operating results, status with an accrediting 
agency, enrollment trends, and ability to manage federal funds. RMS 
also provides OPE with monthly analyses of grantees' level of financial 
risk. In the meantime, some program offices have developed risk 
assessment procedures on their own. 

Grantee Risk Assessment Procedures Used by Program Offices Vary in 
Rigor: 

We observed a wide range of risk assessment procedures that varied in 
rigor among the program offices we reviewed. In discussing how program 
offices assess grantees' financial risk, we noted there was an 
indicator that program offices routinely reviewed to assess a grantee's 
financial risk: the rate at which a grantee draws down grant funds, 
known as the drawdown rate. Although staff we met with in all of the 
offices that disburse funds through periodic drawdowns reported 
checking the drawdown rate, the frequency varied from office to office, 
with some checking the rate monthly and others checking it quarterly. 
Further, the drawdown rate is limited as an indicator of the soundness 
of a grantee's financial management practices because it only shows 
when the grantee is using funds and does not show what the funds are 
used for. 

In addition to monitoring the grantees' drawdown rates, staff in three 
of the offices we met with OPE, Student Achievement and School 
Accountability (SASA), and Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) 
described using more rigorous risk assessment procedures than those 
developed in the other offices we visited. As discussed above, OPE 
worked with RMS to develop new risk assessment procedures. Staff in 
SASA have recently moved to risk-based monitoring procedures; they use 
a risk assessment procedure that incorporates an extensive list of risk 
indicators and numerous sources of information to determine an 
individual grantee's level of risk and whether grantees are meeting 
performance expectations. These indicators include program performance 
data, the grantee staff's level of experience, the size of the grant 
and the population served, and issues raised by the Office of Inspector 
General. Once the program specialists in that office collect and 
analyze the information, they tailor monitoring and technical 
assistance accordingly. The staff routinely track major compliance or 
performance issues, and also conduct staff briefings before site visits 
to share information the office has developed about the grantee and 
issues that may arise, and afterwards, to discuss findings and possible 
corrective action plans. 

Specialists in OSEP reported that they categorize grantees based on 
such factors as audit findings, data indicating how well the grantee is 
accomplishing its objectives, and special conditions attached to the 
grant. Based on this information, they categorize the level of risk for 
the grantee and the level of monitoring and technical assistance the 
grantee requires. For example, a grantee that has high staff turnover 
or recurring problems in external audits, or is unable to meet its 
performance expectations, would be monitored more closely and receive 
more technical assistance than a grantee with experienced staff that is 
consistently meeting the program's administrative, financial, and 
performance requirements. 

Program specialists from OPE, Parental Options and Information, and the 
Continuation and Professional Grants Division told us that their risk 
assessment process begins when they first contact grantees and provide 
expectations for reporting performance and financial information. This 
early contact gives these program specialists a sense of the level of 
experience the grantee has in managing federal grants. In developing 
those assessments, the program specialists and supervisors said they 
can tailor their monitoring to provide additional technical assistance, 
for example, or reach out more frequently than they might otherwise to 
grantees that appear likely to have compliance problems. 

While some of Education's program offices are making progress assessing 
and managing grantee risk as discussed above, staff in three other 
program offices described significant limitations of the risk 
assessment process in place for their grant programs: 

* Program specialists in one office told us that experienced program 
specialists rely on their skills and experience to determine what to 
look for. However, without a formalized risk assessment process, they 
said a new hire might miss key issues while monitoring a grantee. They 
added that a more formal risk assessment process would be helpful. 

* The program specialists in another office said they are not able to 
review all possible risk indicators that may pertain to grantees or do 
more in-depth risk assessments because of competing demands on their 
time. For example, one program specialist described a situation in 
which grant funds were improperly paid out to a grantee because the 
program specialist did not have time to check whether the grantee was 
in good standing. He added that the office was able to recover the 
funds, but he was concerned this could happen again and result in 
losses. 

* One program office director told us that the large number of grantees 
makes it impossible to conduct routine risk assessments of them all. 
Program specialists from that office told us that because of their 
heavy work load--ranging from 85 to 260 grants per specialist--they did 
not have enough time to review all the grantees identified as being at 
risk. 

Limitations in Financial Expertise and Training Hinder Education's 
Ability to Effectively Monitor Grantees: 

Directors and supervisors in the program offices we visited noted that 
while their staff generally have the expertise needed to perform their 
monitoring duties, limited financial expertise and training hinder 
effective monitoring of grantees' compliance with financial 
requirements. In many of the program offices we visited, program 
specialists monitor grantees for compliance with administrative, 
financial, and performance requirements. In most program offices, staff 
we spoke with--including directors, supervisors, and specialists--said 
that the program specialists have limited financial knowledge and lack 
the skills needed for conducting financial reviews and ensuring 
grantees' financial compliance. While monitoring protocols aid in 
reviewing compliance with basic financial requirements, the ability to 
verify or evaluate what grantees report about their use of funds is 
limited by a lack of expertise. For example, using findings from 
consolidated audit reports on grantees' financial statements is an 
activity that aids in identifying monitoring issues, but staff in some 
program offices have difficulty accessing these reports or are not able 
to determine how to use the report findings to identify areas that need 
closer monitoring. Some program office staff said that training on 
performing financial reviews is needed to help fill the gap in this 
skill area. Education has identified the need for more financial review 
capability in its grant program staff through a skills assessment 
inventory it has conducted for the last several years. However, 
Education has not fully developed a strategy to enhance the financial 
review capacity of its grant program staff. 

Lack of Financial Expertise Limits the Depth of Grantee Monitoring, 
Hindering Its Effectiveness: 

According to federal control standards, as part of their management 
responsibilities, agencies should have standards or criteria for hiring 
qualified people. Program office directors and supervisors told us 
their staffs generally have the background and expertise needed to 
monitor grantees, but directors, supervisors, and staff in eight of the 
program offices we reviewed said their program specialists generally 
did not have a sufficient level of financial knowledge or skills needed 
to review grantee compliance in that area. Several noted that some of 
their program specialists previously worked in state or local education 
systems or have strong backgrounds in education programs, and that they 
seek individuals with these backgrounds or experience specific to their 
programs. However, program specialists from three of the groups we met 
with--that administer about 47 percent of Education's total grant 
funding--told us specifically that they, as a group, did not possess 
the needed knowledge or skills for reviewing grantee financial 
compliance and that this hindered their offices' ability to adequately 
monitor grantees. The director in one of those offices also expressed 
doubt that, in general, his staff have the ability to conduct more in- 
depth financial reviews of grantees beyond reviewing drawdown activity 
reports. 

Program offices took different steps to try to ensure proper financial 
reviews. Five of the 12 offices we reviewed addressed their need for 
financial expertise by designating staff to perform financial 
compliance reviews. However, the directors or supervisors from three of 
these offices said that more of their program specialist staff will 
need to be trained in financial monitoring as their office's workload 
increases and as individuals with fiscal expertise retire. 

Program office staff can work with the department-wide offices that 
provide technical assistance and guidance (see figure 1) on financial 
compliance issues. Six offices obtained assistance in conducting 
financial monitoring from other offices such as RMS and the Office of 
Chief Financial Officer (OCFO). However, these arrangements sometimes 
had limits. One program office found OCFO's ability to assist was 
limited by their lack of program knowledge. RMS is responsible for 
providing principal and program offices with advice and assistance on 
issues concerning grant administration, but officials in RMS told us 
their offers of assistance to program offices are often met with 
skepticism or resistance. The director of RMS also has concluded that 
he would need additional staff to provide support to the program 
offices, including development of financial monitoring standards and 
training. 

In addition to designating staff to perform financial compliance 
reviews or obtaining assistance in conducting financial monitoring from 
other Education offices, four of the offices retained contractors to 
assist with monitoring activities, including participating in site 
visits. However, staff in two of these offices found that the 
contractor personnel also lacked sufficient knowledge and skills to 
conduct financial compliance monitoring. Another office terminated its 
contract because the contractor was not meeting the office's standards 
for preparing site visit reports. Some of these program offices that 
used contractors did so to complement their own staffs with additional 
resources in order to meet their monitoring needs. One director told us 
he used contractors because more money was available for contractors 
than for hiring or training staff. Education has not assessed the 
effectiveness of using contractors to conduct fiscal monitoring. An 
official in the Office of the Secretary told us he was not aware of any 
attempts at such an analysis. 

Most of the program offices we reviewed use written tools or protocols 
that typically give instruction for monitoring compliance, including 
compliance with financial requirements, but these protocols generally 
do not provide instruction or guidance on verifying or evaluating 
information obtained during the review. The group of program 
specialists we met with in one office told us they usually have to rely 
on grantees' self-reporting about their use of funds. These specialists 
said they do not have the background or skills needed to corroborate 
what the grantees are reporting, and the office's protocols we reviewed 
do not provide further guidance or instruction on corroborating or 
evaluating information obtained. The director in this office also 
acknowledged his staff's lack of financial skills and said he would 
like to see the department develop some better tools for assuring that 
grantees are complying with financial requirements and using their 
funds consistently with their plans. 

Education Has Not Fully Developed a Strategy to Enhance the Financial 
Review Capacity of Its Monitoring Staff: 

While Education has begun an effort to inventory the skills of its 
grant monitoring staff, it has not yet developed a training program or 
other strategy to fill gaps in their financial monitoring capacity. 
Some program office staff noted that training specifically in financial 
monitoring is needed and would help improve skills. Also, the Grants 
Pilot Project Team concluded that initial training efforts in financial 
monitoring had not yet yielded long-term and sustained improvements or 
a critical mass of better trained staff. To identify where financial 
monitoring training is needed, the department has been conducting an 
inventory of the skills of its program specialist staff for the last 
several years.[Footnote 8] Supervisory staff in the program offices are 
asked to identify the skills needs of each person reporting to them, 
including financial compliance knowledge. The results of the inventory 
are to be used to design training in financial compliance and determine 
how much training is needed in each office. Supervisors are encouraged 
to meet with their staff, discuss the skills needs, and inform those 
individuals about available training. However, under this program, 
financial management or analysis skills are not competencies on which 
all program specialist staff are assessed. Only about 10 percent of 
staff with grant administration responsibilities are assessed on a 
financial skills competency. Based on the most recent year for which 
inventory results are available, 25 of the individuals assessed on 
financial skills were identified as needing training on financial 
compliance. 

Financial monitoring is currently available as a module in classes on 
grant monitoring, but the course material is limited to use of the 
Grant Administration and Payment System and grantees' use of tools such 
as fund carryovers and budget transfers. In addition, there are two 
courses on understanding the role of audits in grantee compliance, but 
they have been offered only once in 2007 and once in 2008 with an 
enrollment limit of 30. Similarly, Education also offers a course on 
basic accounting theory and principles for any department staff without 
prior accounting training. One of its goals is to provide knowledge for 
monitoring use of funds by grantees. The course most recently has been 
offered three times in 2009, and department officials estimate about 23 
program office staff with grant monitoring responsibilities have 
successfully completed or are currently taking it. 

Education is planning to make changes in the financial compliance 
components of its grant administration training, but these efforts are 
just beginning and management has not committed to a time frame for 
full implementation. RMS is developing a class on grants management 
that will focus on financial and administrative requirements and 
compliance. Preliminary materials we reviewed indicate it will cover 
such topics as grantee cash management and payment systems, cost 
principles for grantees, and financial reporting. Two program offices 
have expressed interest in registering their staffs to take this class 
when it becomes available. RMS is also planning to develop a curriculum 
for newly hired grant administration staff that would be offered 
through "just-in-time" modules, one of which would focus on financial 
compliance. According to the RMS official responsible for developing 
these courses, though, the development is being delayed while he 
implements similar courses for grantees and their subrecipients. He 
also noted that his own instructor staff have limited financial 
knowledge, which could impose a constraint on the success of the new 
training. 

Limitations in Education's Information-Sharing Systems Hinder Effective 
Grant Monitoring: 

Education staff responsible for grant monitoring generally do not have 
access to relevant information on how well grantees comply with the 
requirements of other Education grants and whether their performance 
with respect to those grants meets expectations. Because many grantees 
receive multiple grants from Education in a given year, program 
specialists said this type of information sharing could help program 
specialists carry out their grant monitoring responsibilities more 
effectively (see figure 3). Additionally, the program offices 
responsible for grant monitoring lack a systematic means to share 
information on promising practices for conducting grant monitoring. 
Program office managers and staff said it would be helpful to have 
information on ways to improve or enhance current monitoring practices. 

Figure 3: Opportunities for Sharing Information about Recipients of 
Multiple Education Grants: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration] 

Grant programs: 
LSL Grant; 
FLAP Grant; 
PIRC Grant; 
Title I, Part A Grant. 

All grant programs have opportunities for sharing information through 
an information exchange with: 

AITQ Program Specialists; 
OELA Program Specialists; 
SASA Program Specialists; 
POI Program Specialists. 

[End of figure] 

Source: GAO analysis of Department of Education grant programs. 

Note: Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grants are monitored 
by the Continuation and Professional Grants Division program office in 
the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). Parental Information 
and Resources Centers (PIRC) grants are monitored by the Parental 
Options and Information (POI) program office in the Office of 
Innovation and Improvement. Improving Basic Programs (Title I, Part A) 
and Improving Literacy through School Libraries (LSL) grants are 
monitored by the Student Achievement and School Accountability (SASA) 
and Academic Improvement and Teacher Quality (AITQ) program offices 
respectively, in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

[End of figure] 

Program office management and staff identified challenges in accessing 
information relevant to grant monitoring. Program management and 
specialists acknowledged that while it might be useful to share 
information with other principal or program offices, there is no formal 
mechanism to do so. One program office director, for example, said such 
exchanges might provide other program offices information about 
systemic management or personnel problems state grantees are 
experiencing, since these types of problems could affect a wide variety 
of the department's grant programs. A supervisor in another office 
observed that if his staff find questionable issues with a grantee, 
they do not have a systematic method of reporting it to other program 
or principal offices that may also be funding that same grantee. 

Moreover, program staff within the same office said they do not always 
have access to information about a grantee's performance. In one of our 
discussion groups with program specialists, one participant was aware a 
grantee was having performance issues but another participant who also 
monitors the same grantee under a different grant was unaware of these 
performance issues. Had he known about these issues, he would have 
intensified his monitoring of that grantee. The program specialists in 
this office said they do not know who works with which grantees and 
there is no formal process within the program office to share 
information. 

Managers in several program offices said they have databases or other 
repositories housing grant monitoring information including findings 
and past program performance, but these databases are not available to 
staff outside their program office. In those offices, information is 
available for internal program office use but is not typically shared 
with or accessible to monitoring staff in other program offices. For 
example, one principal office has a database of monitoring findings and 
recommendations from the last 6 years, but we were told it was for use 
only in that principal office. Program office management and staff 
noted that Education has a shared computer drive where program offices 
may store current and historical information on grantees' performance 
in folders, but access to their information on the drive is typically 
restricted to their own staff. The shared drive was never intended for 
sharing information among different principal offices. Staff in one 
program office would need to be given access to browse files saved in 
another program office's folder on the shared drive. However, even with 
access to the folders on the shared drive, the information may not be 
easily searchable according to some program staff. One program officer 
explained to us that in his office, he and his colleagues can use this 
drive as a repository for all documents related to their work. However, 
they have to notify each other of what is available on the drive. 

One notable exception to the limitations in information sharing 
involves the department-wide team headed by RMS that is responsible for 
coordinating the monitoring of designated high-risk grantees. The 
designation is assigned when the results of audits or other monitoring 
activities show the grantee has significant deficiencies and is not 
meeting program, financial, or administrative requirements. Currently 
there are 17 grantees with this designation. This team meets weekly and 
includes representatives from the program offices, OCFO, and other 
department-wide offices. At these meetings, the team shares information 
about the high-risk grantees, monitoring issues involving those 
grantees, progress made in addressing corrective action plans, and 
other issues that may arise. As noted previously, RMS is nearing 
completion of an information-sharing tool for the department that would 
provide program specialists with relevant information related to all 
grantees department-wide. However, RMS does not have a targeted 
implementation date for the information-sharing tool. 

In addition to the limited accessibility of information on grantees, we 
found there is limited information on promising practices in grant 
monitoring. In 2007, the department's Grants Pilot Project Team 
recommended disseminating promising practices for grant monitoring to 
all program offices. However, the program office directors and other 
staff we interviewed were generally not aware of a formal mechanism for 
sharing promising practices and desired a more formal approach. While 
management staff in some offices said they share information on 
promising practices through informal contacts and networks, managers in 
four of the offices we visited said that a means to share such 
information more systematically would be helpful to all offices and a 
good way to improve grant monitoring practices. 

Conclusions: 

Since it created RMS in October 2007, Education has made progress in 
developing a risk-based approach to monitoring its more than 18,000 
grantees. While allowing individual program offices to develop their 
own procedures might make sense given the range of programs and 
missions in the various offices, not all of the program offices have 
developed procedures for assessing grantee risk. RMS is developing 
training, software, and technical assistance that the program offices 
can use to aid in the development of their own risk assessment 
procedures; however, many of these efforts are in the planning stages 
and do not have an implementation timeline. 

The shortcomings we have identified in Education's risk assessment 
practices provide challenges for the department in targeting its 
monitoring efforts to the grantees most likely to have compliance 
problems, identifying potential misuse or waste of grant funds that 
could deprive other areas of needed scarce resources, and improving its 
monitoring processes through a wider exchange of information about 
grantees. With regard to reviewing grantee financial compliance, the 
lack of financial expertise among program specialists and training 
opportunities prevents staff from routinely conducting more thorough 
reviews and probing more deeply into grantee financial information, 
risking failure to identify misuse or waste of grant funds. Without 
more widespread sharing of information, Education cannot ensure that 
problems with a grantee identified by one office become known to other 
offices supporting the same grantee, or promising practices that can 
improve the effectiveness of the monitoring process are adopted on a 
wider scale. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

In order to better target grant monitoring and ensure that monitoring 
staff have the knowledge and information that would help them focus 
their monitoring efforts, we recommend that the Secretary of Education 
take the following three actions: 

* Develop department-wide guidance on risk assessment, continue efforts 
to develop new grantee risk assessment tools that can be implemented 
department-wide, and work with the program offices to ensure these 
tools are implemented. 

* Implement a strategy to ensure each program office has staff with 
sufficient financial monitoring expertise to conduct or assist other 
program specialists in conducting financial compliance reviews. This 
could include proceeding with plans for enhanced financial training and 
also assessing options such as using dedicated staff or contractors to 
conduct grantee financial reviews. 

* Develop an easily accessible mechanism for sharing information across 
all offices about grantees' past and present performance, and an 
accessible forum for sharing promising practices in grant monitoring to 
ensure all program offices are able to effectively and efficiently 
perform all of their duties and responsibilities. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

We provided a draft of this report to the Secretary of Education. 
Education's comments are presented in appendix II. Education generally 
agreed with our recommendations and said it is taking various steps to 
address them. However, Education believed the draft report should 
provide a more complete and accurate picture of its overall monitoring 
efforts and provided technical comments to provide a more complete and 
accurate analysis of its monitoring practices. We believe our draft 
report provided an accurate portrayal of Education's monitoring efforts 
and presented appropriate evidence for our conclusions and 
recommendations. We reviewed Education's technical comments and 
incorporated them when appropriate. 

We are sending copies of this report to appropriate congressional 
committees, the Secretary of Education, and other interested parties. 
In addition, the report will be available at no charge on GAO's Web 
site at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. Please contact me at (202) 512-
7215 if you or your staff have any questions about this report. Contact 
points for our offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs 
may be found on the last page of this report. Other major contributors 
to this report are listed in appendix III. 

Signed by: 

Cornelia M. Ashby: 
Director Education, Workforce, and Income Security Issues: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Comparison of Grant Funding in the Department of 
Education's Principal and Program Offices: 

Each pie chart in figure 4 represents a principal office in Education 
that awards grants to state and local educational agencies, 
institutions of higher education, and other eligible entities. The 
chart for each office is sized according to its share of the total 
amount of Education's grant funding in that office based on fiscal year 
2008 appropriations. The program offices we included in our review, and 
their percentage of principal office grant funds, are shown by the 
labeled slices. The unlabeled slices represent the program offices that 
were not included in our review. 

Figure 4: Comparison of Grant Funding in Education Department Principal 
Offices: 

[Refer to PDF for image: 8 pie-charts] 

Program Offices reviewed by GAO: 

OESE: $21.8 billion: 
Student Achievement and School Accountability: 66%; 
Academic Improvement and Teacher Quality Programs: 23%; 
Impact Aid Programs: 6%; 
Migrant Education: 2%; 
Program Offices not reviewed by GAO: 3%. 

OSERS: $15.2 billion: 
Office of Special Education Program: 78%; 
Rehabilitation Services Administration: 21%; 
Program Offices not reviewed by GAO: 1%. 

OPE: $2.8 billion: 
Higher Education Preparation and Support Service: 32%; 
Program Offices not reviewed by GAO: 68%. 

OVAE: $1.9 billion: 
Academic and Technical Education: 69%; 
Adult Education and Literacy: 31%. 

OII: $848 million: 
Parental Options and Information: 47%; 
Program Offices not reviewed by GAO: 53%. 

OELA: $721 million: 
Continuation and Professional Grants: 100%. 

OSDFS: $684 million: 
Drug-Violence Prevention-State Programs: 42%; 
Program Offices not reviewed by GAO: 58%. 

OIE: $280 million: 
Program Offices not reviewed by GAO: 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of Department of Education data. 

Notes: OESE = Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; OPE = 
Office of Postsecondary Education; OSDFS = Office of Safe and Drug-Free 
Schools; OSERS = Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services; OII = Office of Innovation and Improvement; OELA = Office of 
English Language Acquisition;IES = Institute of Education Sciences; 
OVAE = Office of Vocational and Adult Education. 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Education: 

United States Department Of Education: 
The Deputy Secretary: 
400 Maryland Ave., S.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20202-0500: 
[hyperlink, http://www.ed.gov] 

Our mission is to ensure equal access to education and to promote 
educational excellence throughout the Nation. 

November 16, 2009: 

Ms. Cornelia Ashby: 
Director, Education Workforce and Income Security Issues: 
Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, NW: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

Dear Ms. Ashby: 

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the Government 
Accountability Office (GAO) draft report, Grant Monitoring: Department 
of Education Could Improve its Processes with Greater Focus on 
Assessing Risks, Acquiring Financial Skills, and Sharing Information 
(GAO-10-57). The report contains three recommendations for improving 
the U.S. Department of Education's ability to effectively and 
efficiently monitor grantees for programmatic, financial, and 
administrative compliance. The Department generally agrees with the 
recommendations, which are consistent with the Department's goal of 
continuously improving the effectiveness of the agency's monitoring and 
increasing the use of risk-based methodologies. However, we believe
the report should provide a more complete and accurate picture of the 
Department's overall monitoring efforts and have submitted technical 
edits that provide a more complete and accurate analysis of the 
Department's monitoring practices. Below are the Department's responses 
to GAO's specific recommendations. 

Recommendation: Develop department-wide guidance on risk assessment, 
continue efforts to develop new grantee risk assessment tools that can 
be implemented department-wide, and work with the program offices to 
ensure these tools are implemented. 

The Department agrees that a Department-wide grant monitoring strategy, 
including an enhanced risk-based approach, could strengthen its 
monitoring and oversight. As discussed in the technical edits, the 
Department already uses risk-based factors as part of its monitoring 
efforts. To further promote the use of risk-based factors and continue 
to improve monitoring across the agency, the Department is currently 
developing an enhanced risk-based approach to grant monitoring that 
will include automated tools to assist grant managers in assessing 
grantees' risks in the areas of financial and grants management 
compliance, and provide staff easier access to audit findings on both 
program and financial compliance issues. 

Recommendation: Implement a strategy to ensure each program office has 
staff with sufficient financial monitoring expertise to conduct or 
assist other program specialists in conducting financial compliance 
reviews. This could include proceeding with plans for enhanced 
financial training and also assessing options such as using dedicated 
staff or contractors to conduct grantee financial reviews. 

As noted in the technical edits, the Department uses resources from 
other offices (e.g., Risk Management Service, Office of the General 
Counsel, Office of the Chief Financial Officer) with expertise in 
fiscal matters to advise, train, and supplement the resources of the 
program offices when needed. However, we recognize the importance of 
oversight of grantees' compliance with government-wide rules for 
financial and grants administration and believe that our efforts will 
be enhanced by further increasing program staffs' expertise related to 
financial management, and further developing the expertise and the 
capacity necessary to monitor compliance with the federal grant 
requirements related to financial management. The Department is 
evaluating options for building capacity in this area, including those 
recommended by GAO, such as providing additional financial training to 
Department staff or engaging contractors to conduct grantee financial 
reviews. 

Recommendation: Develop an easily accessible mechanism for sharing 
information across all offices about grantees' past and present 
performance, and an accessible forum for sharing promising practices 
for grant monitoring to ensure all program offices are able to 
effectively and efficiently perform all of their duties and 
responsibilities. 

As noted in the technical edits, much consultation among programs and 
other offices already takes place, and currently there are effective 
means to coordinate information. However, the Department-wide grant 
monitoring efforts could be enhanced by improving access to monitoring 
findings and other information on grantees' past performance for all of 
the Department's program offices. The Department agrees that additional 
easily accessible mechanisms for sharing information across programs on 
grantees' past performance will further improve the Department's 
ability to assess risk and provide targeted technical assistance to 
help grantees improve their grants administration. 

We appreciate the opportunity we have had to discuss with you our 
responses to these recommendations, as well as our technical edits in 
response to GAO's draft findings. Please let me know if you have any 
questions. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Anthony W. Miller: 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Cornelia M. Ashby, (202)512-7215, or ashbyc@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the individual named above, other GAO staff who made key 
contributions to this report are Bill Keller, Assistant Director; Joel 
Marus, Analyst-in-Charge; Travis Hill; Jill Yost; Charles Willson; Kate 
Van Gelder; Luann Moy; Walter Vance; Jim Rebbe; and James Bennett. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115 (2009). 

[2] See, for example, GAO, Low-Income and Minority Serving 
Institutions: Management Attention to Long-standing Concerns Needed to 
Improve Education's Oversight of Grant Programs, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-309] (Washington, D.C.: Aug. 17, 
2009) and Teacher Quality: Sustained Coordination among Key Federal 
Education Programs Could Enhance State Efforts to Improve Teacher 
Quality, [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-593] 
(Washington, D.C.: July 6, 2009). 

[3] We did not include the Office of Federal Student Aid, which 
oversees student financial assistance grants, or the Institute of 
Education Sciences because the grant programs they administer generally 
do not give funds for providing education or education-related services 
to students. 

[4] When referring to program specialists throughout the report, we are 
referring to program specialists in the 12 program offices. 

[5] Although we used random sampling, we requested that program 
specialists with only brief experience in the offices be excluded. In 
addition, in some cases offices noted that they had a program 
specialist with financial expertise and we requested that the person be 
included in the group discussion. 

[6] Office of Management and Budget Circular A-123, Management's 
Responsibility for Internal Control, December 21, 2004. 

[7] U.S. Department of Education, FY 2007 Performance and 
Accountability Report, November 15, 2007. 

[9] For purposes of describing staff covered under this skills 
inventory, we are including three job classifications among program 
specialist staff: program specialists, education research analysts, and 
management program analysts. 

[End of section] 

GAO's Mission: 

The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation and 
investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting 
its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance 
and accountability of the federal government for the American people. 
GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and 
policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance 
to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding 
decisions. GAO's commitment to good government is reflected in its core 
values of accountability, integrity, and reliability. 

Obtaining Copies of GAO Reports and Testimony: 

The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no 
cost is through GAO's Web site [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. Each 
weekday, GAO posts newly released reports, testimony, and 
correspondence on its Web site. To have GAO e-mail you a list of newly 
posted products every afternoon, go to [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov] 
and select "E-mail Updates." 

Order by Phone: 

The price of each GAO publication reflects GAOís actual cost of
production and distribution and depends on the number of pages in the
publication and whether the publication is printed in color or black and
white. Pricing and ordering information is posted on GAOís Web site, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/ordering.htm]. 

Place orders by calling (202) 512-6000, toll free (866) 801-7077, or
TDD (202) 512-2537. 

Orders may be paid for using American Express, Discover Card,
MasterCard, Visa, check, or money order. Call for additional 
information. 

To Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Federal Programs: 

Contact: 

Web site: [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm]: 
E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov: 
Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470: 

Congressional Relations: 

Ralph Dawn, Managing Director, dawnr@gao.gov: 
(202) 512-4400: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street NW, Room 7125: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: 

Public Affairs: 

Chuck Young, Managing Director, youngc1@gao.gov: 
(202) 512-4800: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street NW, Room 7149: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: