OMB wants more pressure on Recovery Act recipients

Wednesday - 5/5/2010, 4:24pm EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

The Office of Management and Budget wants agencies to turn up the heat on companies or organizations receiving Recovery Act funding to ensure they are reporting how they are using the money.

In a memo to agency secretaries, OMB Director Peter Orszag outlines the additional steps agencies should take to deal with recipients who are not submitting information quarterly to FederalReporting.gov.

President Obama's April 6 memo to agencies focused on initial actions agencies should take to deal with non-compliance.

"The vast majority of recipients have complied with the reporting obligations; however, where a recipient has failed to meet these obligations, agencies will be held accountable for taking appropriate actions to enforce the reporting requirements," Orszag writes.

OMB wants agencies to begin contacting these non-reporting recipients by phone, fax, letter or e-mail initially at the beginning of the next reporting period. Agencies then should follow-up with the organizations "consistently and comprehensively" during the quarter.

"Recipients that have not filed a report at least three business days before the end of the report submission phase must be contacted (through phone call or e-mail) by the federal agency to ascertain the recipient's ability to submit its report and to ensure timely filing," the memo states.

New recipients of funding must be contacted within 10 business days of receiving the money to ensure they fully understand their reporting requirements, OMB states.

For those recipients who still do not report after being reminded, OMB wants agencies to inform them of potential consequences including terminating funding, initiating suspension and debarment of the prime recipient and taking other enforcement action as the agency determines appropriate to the circumstances.

"Federal agencies are required to report to OMB quarterly on non-compliant recipients," the memo states.

"This action must be completed within five business days of the close of the quarterly agency review and comment period. Each agency must complete the template, including a description of action taken to ensure recipient reporting of Recovery Act dollars, and to elimination of waste, fraud and abuse by recipients. This should also include the reason that the agency believes the recipient is non-compliant. All non-compliant templates must be certified by the Federal agency senior accountable official before submission."

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