Use of Program Income by Evaluation, Dissemination, and Assessment Centers Supported by OBEMLA

HRD-82-63: Published: Apr 14, 1982. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the use of income accrued by three Evaluation, Dissemination, and Assessment Centers established through Department of Education grants and supported by Education's Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs. The purpose of these centers is to assess, evaluate, and disseminate instructional materials for use in bilingual education. The objectives of the review were to: (1) determine whether the centers used program income according to federal requirements; and (2) assess whether Education adequately monitored program income.

GAO found that Education's monitoring of program income was lax. Centers have accumulated and retained large year-end balances of program income funds, and Education has not issued adequate rules or directives governing such funds. Centers have used program income to purchase equipment, and there is a serious question as to whether Education can transfer such equipment to succeeding grantees as can be done with equipment purchased with grant funds. Centers have also spent program income for purposes which may be inconsistent with the intent of the grant.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Education should establish a federal prerogative similar to that which exists for equipment purchased with grant funds. This would allow Education to transfer equipment purchased with program income funds to a third party upon termination of the grant or when no longer used for the grant purpose.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Education should require applicants to include, in the budgets that accompany their applications, the total program income they expect to receive and how they plan to use the income.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Education should enforce administrative requirements that applicants include program income data in the financial status reports that they submit to Education.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Education should determine the total program income balances that the centers should have returned to Education, require centers to return such balances and, in the future, require the prompt return of any unobligated program income when completing a grant period, or offset such balances, against succeeding grants.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Education should issue directives to clarify the appropriate use of program income funds and monitor the uses made of such funds.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

 

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