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As of February 1, 2023, there are 4825 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 464 of these are priority recommendations, those that we believe warrant priority attention. Learn more about our priority designation on our Recommendations page.

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1 - 4 of 4 Recommendations, including 1 Priority Recommendations

Head Start: Action Needed to Enhance Program Oversight and Mitigate Significant Fraud and Improper Payment Risks

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4 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
Office of Head Start
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of OHS should perform a fraud risk assessment for the Head Start program, to include assessing the likelihood and impact of fraud risks it faces. (Recommendation 1)
Open

As of January 2023, HHS told us that its Fraud Risk Assessment approach is still under development and that a timeline for completing this work had not been established. We will continue to monitor HHS's efforts in this area.

Office of Head Start The Director of OHS should establish procedures to monitor and evaluate OHS's new internal workflows for monitoring reviews, to include establishing a baseline to measure the effect of these workflows and identify and address any problems impeding the effective implementation of new workflows to ensure timeliness goals for monitoring reviews are met. (Recommendation 3)
Open

HHS did not concur with this recommendation. However, in February 2020, HHS stated that it updated its internal workflow timelines to increase responsiveness to identified findings and ensure grantee support. In April 2021, HHS told us that, since adopting its new workflows, HHS was meeting various timeliness goals more often. We asked HHS to provide documentation showing that it was meeting various timeliness goals more often. We will update the status of this recommendation after we review the information HHS provides.

Office of Head Start The Director of OHS should provide program-wide guidance on when a student's slot should be considered vacant due to absenteeism. (Recommendation 5)
Open

In February 2020, OHS told us that it was finalizing program guidance that will address when a child's slot should be considered vacant due to absenteeism and what a program should do fill it. As of December 2021, OHS told us that In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they postponed releasing policy guidance on vacant slots until it is practical to do so given other priorities. We will continue to monitor OHS's efforts in this area.

Office of Head Start The Director of OHS should develop and implement a method for grantees to document attendance and services under EHS pregnancy programs. (Recommendation 6)
Open

In February 2020, OHS told us that it is developing a tool kit of resources specifically designed to offer best practice tips for Early Head Start programs on how to track attendance and services to pregnant women. OHS is surveying the Head Start community to better determine what resources are already available and how programs in different regions and cities track services to pregnant women. As of December 2021, OHS told us that In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they postponed releasing the tool kit until the end of 2022.

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