Grant Management:

Benefits and Burdens of Increasing NSF Financial Reporting Requirements

RCED-92-201BR: Published: Jul 13, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the National Science Foundation's (NSF) financial management, focusing on: (1) present financial reporting requirements; (2) whether grant funds are being shifted between budget categories appropriately; and (3) increasing financial reporting requirements.

GAO found that NSF: (1) complies with federal guidelines for financial reporting; (2) relies on federal cost principles and federal audit requirements for funding oversight; (3) delegates authority to grantees to rebudget funds between budget categories; (4) often shifts small amounts of funds between budget categories; (5) program officials believe that shifts are allowable because grantees appropriately use funds and research results are satisfactory; (6) program officials believe increased financial reporting to be burdensome for both NSF and its grantees; and (7) believes that increased reporting of financial data does not significantly improve grant administration.

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