The Department of the Interior Should Improve Its Policies and Practices on Grant-Related Income

GGD-83-75 Published: Aug 26, 1983. Publicly Released: Aug 26, 1983.
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Highlights

GAO performed a governmentwide review of federal agencies' and grantees' policies and practices on handling income generated under federally assisted programs.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Interior The Secretary of the Interior should direct the National Park Service (NPS) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to review grantees' practices on the use of income and to emphasize that program income must be used for program purposes.
Closed - Implemented
NPS and FWS issued revised manuals incorporating this recommendation.
Department of the Interior The Secretary of the Interior should direct NPS and FWS to establish regulations governing the: (1) timing and allowability of program income expenditures; and (2) disposition of interest earned on invested program income funds.
Closed - Implemented
NPS and FWS issued new program income guidance in October 1984 and January 1985 incorporating this recommendation.
Department of the Interior The Secretary of the Interior should direct FWS officials to determine whether any federal share exists in the interest earned on the two Florida wildlife accounts.
Closed - Implemented
FWS determined that no federal interest existed.
Department of the Interior The Secretary of the Interior should direct NPS and FWS to review and, where appropriate, revise their regulations on the options available to grantees for using program income to ensure that they reflect statutory requirements and clarify them as appropriate to remove internal conflicts.
Closed - Implemented
New guidance was issued in 1984 and 1985 to implement this recommendation.
Department of the Interior The Secretary of the Interior should direct FWS officials to be consistent in requiring grantees to account for and report on income from the sale of wildlife management area permits, taking into consideration the FWS policy statement on this issue.
Closed - Implemented
In January 1985, FWS clarified the accountability for this type of income.
Department of the Interior The Secretary of the Interior should direct FWS to require grantees to use the Financial Status Report for reporting program income and all other types of grant-related income.
Closed - Implemented
In January 1985, FWS amended its Federal Aid Manual to implement this recommendation.
Department of the Interior The Secretary of the Interior should direct NPS to enforce the Historic Preservation Program regulations requiring grantees to remit the federal share of proceeds realized from the sale of real property without regard to whether the property is sold during or after the project period.
Closed - Implemented
Interior and NPS stated that, in the three examples given in the report, the Historic Preservation Program regulations are not applicable and, therefore, do not need to be enforced. If this is the case, NPS should amend its regulations. In October 1984, NPS amended its regulations exempting certain property sales from applicability.

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