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Posted by on Mar 16, 2010

Recovery Act Programs Taxing Federal Resources

A new report confirms what most of you in grants management probably already knew: implementation and administration of Recovery Act programs has put a strain on the federal grants workforce.

The Recovery and Accountability Transparency Board surveyed the 29 agencies charged with handing out Recovery Act funds. Review of Contracts and Grants Workforce Staffing and Qualifications in Agencies Overseeing Recovery Act Funds showed that most agencies felt staffing was inadequate to operate Recovery Act programs, or that if the staffing level was adequate, administration of Recovery Act programs adversely impacted the administration of non-Recovery Act programs. The impact on both Recovery and non-Recovery Act programs included award delays, decreased postaward monitoring, increased staff hours, and use of supplemental staff.

The board also looked at the training and qualifications of grants staff, and noted that there is no governmentwide qualification or training requirements for the grants workforce. Only about 8 percent of the grants officers, 50 percent of grants program managers, and 29 percent of grants specialists work in agencies that will have implemented agency-specific training and continuous learning requirements by June 2010. Without a common certification and continuous learning program, the report said it is difficult to determine whether the qualification requirements and training of the grants workforce are adequate.

You can view the full report here.

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