TCG recently participated as one of the exhibitors at the 35th Annual Training Conference of the National Grants Management Association (NGMA), which was held May 5-8, 2013, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA. With 34 grants management engagements at 9 Federal agencies, TCG has more experience in federal grants management than any other company. Click here to read the full press release.
Site visits are for grantees, not federal agencies, says National Science Foundation officials.
Last week at the National Grants Management Association Annual Meeting a session on virtual site visits -- using shared desktops, conference lines, and videoconferencing -- had an underlying message. As Dale Bell, deputy director of the Division of Institution and Award Support put it, "We are on your side. We want you to be the best you can be."
Bell made it clear that the Cost Analysis and Audit Resolution Branch was not the same as the Office of the Inspector General, and in fact had very different aims. While the IG at NSF (and likely at other agencies) might be looking for fraud, waste, and abuse to eliminate or punish, this group was looking for problems to help solve.
Because of their focus, Bell and his colleagues at the presentation --Tamara Bowman, team lead for the Award Monitoring and Business Assistance program, and Alex Wynnyk, chief of the Cost Analysis and Audit Resolution Branch -- did not take the IG's suggestion to "follow the money" when deciding which sites to visit or audit. The large grantee organizations have the infrastructure to ensure compliance, they reasoned. It is the smaller universities and research centers with smaller grants, in the $3 million to $10 million range, that need the most help from the Cost Analysis and Audit Resolution Branch.
Part of the branch's charge is to get institutions ready for audits by helping them set up good processes and follow them appropriately. With those processes in place and followed, there should be no waste, fraud, or abuse. No institution wants to be the subject of an IG report, which is read by members of Congress (who then point fingers).
So if you have a grant, welcome those desk audits and site visits: sometimes when the Feds call, they're on your side.
Recognize achievement and express appreciation to professionals who demonstrate standards of excellence in grants management expertise;
Encourage and inspire other grants industry professionals to recognize their potential and elevate their grants management competency; and
Express appreciation to NGMA’s partner organizations, key stakeholders, and associated colleagues who assist and support NGMA’s mission on many levels.
Click here for more information on the awards categories and to access the nomination form. Award nominations are due by March 1, 2013. TCG is proud to support NGMA as a Director Level Corporate Sponsor.
When the $275 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act went into effect, Congress required that states receiving the money set up websites that would detail how the money was being spent. There was talk of thousands of "citizen IGs" monitoring that the transactions would be honest and aboveboard.
Well, it turns out that those citizen IGs never materialized, and yet the ARRA had remarkably little waste, fraud, and abuse. The IBM Center for the Business of Government, which does a bang-up job analyzing government activities across the board, studied the websites in six states where the spending was detailed (all states did it, the group chose just six as representatives).
The report concluded that because the states had to think about what they were reporting, they developed a better understanding of what was going on in their own states -- and thus a better understanding of how ARRA was helping. Which once again proves that if you measure it, you do it better.
The Technology Committee for the National Grants Management Association (NGMA), which is chaired by TCG vice president Judith Turner, recently held its kickoff meeting, and is still welcoming new committee members (who must be NGMA members). Contact Judith Turner (email@example.com) if you are interested in joining the committee.
The National Grants Management Association recently went public with its credential as a certified Grants Management Specialist (and by recently I mean within the last few months). Already NGMA is hearing that employers are giving preference to those who have the degree. So if you're already involved in grantmaking and looking to get a promotion or change a job, this may be a good way to get an advantage, since so few people now have that credential, and it takes a few courses and an exam to get it.
For more information, check out the CGMS page on the NGMA site.
And related to that, if you want to get a taste of the kind of ongoing training you will need as a Certified Grants Management Specialist, the first training luncheon of the 2012-2013 season is September 19, where the Government Accountability Office will be presenting on its role in grants management. See the NGMA training schedule for information on registering for this and other classes.
You can get even more respect if you teach courses for CGMS. NGMA is looking for people to do that, too. Contact the NGMA for more information.
TCG vice president Judith Turner has been named the new chairman of the National Grants Management
Association's (NGMA) Technology Committee. Judith also serves on NGMA's Board of Directors. The first job of the technology committee will be to review the NGMA website and make recommendations as appropriate. The committee is looking for new members, and hopes to have its first meeting in early September. Contact Shelly Slebrch (firstname.lastname@example.org) at NGMA if interested.
The National Grants Management Association kicks off its 2012-2013 training sessions with a presentation by the Government Accountability Office, the agency that has had as much influence on grants management as any body other than Congress.
The GAO's reports on grants programs and their foibles have stirred many an agency to action -- whether they were specifically named in the reports or not.
The NGMA training session, on Wednesday, September 9 back at Maggiano's (love their apple crostada!), will focus on grants streamlining. For more information see the NGMA website.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant
Program Description: Representatives from the U.S. Government Accountability Office will discuss GAO’s role in the federal government, an overview of selected federal grants streamlining efforts, and GAO’s prior and current work on federal grants issues with a focus on grants streamlining. Presenters will also invite discussion and comments regarding progress made towards streamlining federal grants management.
At the training session, participants will:
Differentiate GAO’s role in the federal government and how GAO does its work
Discover the history of selected federal grants streamlining initiatives
Recognize GAO’s current and prior work related to grants and grants management
Participants can earn up to 1 CPE credit in the field of Specialized Knowledge and Applications.