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The Office of Community Services Did Not Fully Comply With Federal Monitoring and Reporting Requirements for the Community Services Block Grant Program

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS), did not fully comply with Federal monitoring and reporting requirements for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program for Federal fiscal years (FYs) 2010 through 2012. Specifically, although OCS issued five final State evaluation reports since October 2011, it had a backlog of nine final reports that it had not issued to the States as of December 17, 2013. On average, OCS issued final State evaluation reports in excess of 2 years after it concluded related site visits.

In addition, OCS did not issue an annual CSBG report to Congress in 2012. OCS issued the FY 2008 and FY 2009 annual CSBG reports to Congress in June 2011 and July 2013, respectively; however, OCS has not issued the FY 2010 and FY 2011 annual CSBG reports to Congress and, therefore, has not reported on the results of State evaluations for these years. For the previous three CSBG annual reports issued to Congress, it took OCS an average of more than 3 years from the time the report preparation began to when Congress received the final report.

OCS policies, procedures, and internal controls were not adequate to ensure that OCS performed its monitoring and reporting responsibilities in an efficient and effective manner according to Federal requirements.

We recommended that ACF (1) issue all delayed evaluation reports to State agencies and annual CSBG reports to Congress expeditiously, (2) strengthen and implement policies and procedures to establish accountability and specific timeframes for each step of report preparation and issuance, (3) incorporate specific data submission deadlines in cooperative agreements with vendors providing critical information used in the preparation of the OCS CSBG annual report to Congress, (4) strengthen and implement controls to ensure full compliance with CSBG Act monitoring and reporting requirements, and (5) ensure management stability and communication to oversee the effective implementation of the recommendations from GAO's 2006 report and this review. In written comments on our draft report, ACF stated that it has issued in final all of the delayed evaluation reports that we identified in our review. In addition, ACF detailed the corrective actions it has taken to address our recommendations.