Government Operations:

Need for Increased Emphasis on Timely Contract and Grant Closeout Activities

HRD-78-142: Published: Sep 21, 1978. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 1978.

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In October 1975, GAO reported that the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration had a large backlog of expired contracts and grants which had not been closed out. That report recommended that Labor close out completed contracts and grants and reduce associated advances outstanding and unliquidated obligations more promptly to improve the accuracy of quarterly closeout reports. This follow-up survey examined the progress that Labor had made through March 31, 1978.

Although the number of contracts and grants awaiting closeout had decreased about 19 percent to 3,563, as of March 31, 1978, the amount of obligations had increased more than 100 percent to $8.6 billion. It was estimated that 22 percent of the contracts and grants awaiting closeout in March 1978 had terminated on or before June 30, 1975. The Employment and Training Administration's closeouts have decreased significantly from more than 5,650 contract and grant closeouts during fiscal year 1975 to about 2,100 and 2,600 in calendar years 1976 and 1977, respectively. Analysis of 110 of the quarterly reports submitted to headquarters by the regional offices during the period June 30, 1975, through March 31, 1978, demonstrated inconsistencies in the preparation of these reports providing statistical and financial information on contract and grant closeouts. Written instructions for regional office use in preparing the quarterly closeout report were found to be inadequate in addressing several problems.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should establish specific criteria which can be used to measure the timeliness of closeout actions on expired contracts and grants, establish goals and allocate the resources necessary to eliminate the closeout backlog, and improve the closeout reports' consistency and accuracy by seeing that persons responsible for preparing the reports receive and follow proper instructions.

    Agency Affected:

 

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