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Posted by on Sep 27, 2012

GAO Examines Challenges to Grant Administration and Management

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on September 25, 2012 entitled “Grants to State and Local Governments: An Overview of Federal Funding Levels and Selected Challenges.” The report provided a synopsis of federal assistance programs, the grant awards process, and funding levels of federal grants over the last thirty years. The GAO did not examine any new issues regarding federal grant programs, and instead summarized previous audit reports focusing on the challenges in implementing and managing federal assistance programs.

While the report did not provide any new recommendations for policy initiatives or insight into grants management, it can serve as an excellent reference for individuals seeking to learn more about federal grant programs. The report provided a concise summation of GAO concerns regarding the lack of appropriate performance measures for many grant programs, overlap and duplication of program scopes and objectives, and the need for more effective oversight and monitoring of grant awards. The report can be found at

Management Concepts offers two courses designed to address the some challenges in grants management outlined by the GAO. The Monitoring Grants and Cooperative Agreements for Federal Personnel course provides training to federal grant and program officials to develop working familiarity with essential monitoring techniques and gain insight into potential problem areas in grants administration. The Accountability for Federal Grants course is designed for anyone in the grants community, awarding and recipient personnel alike, who is interested in applying performance-based principles to grant projects. Additional information about these courses can be found in our course catalog.

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