The Administration for Community Living Failed To Conduct Any of the Required Onsite Compliance Reviews of Independent Living Programs
Why OIG Did This Review
In June 2017, HHS-OIG received a hotline complaint alleging that the Administration for Community Living (ACL) was not conducting its required oversight of independent living programs. We performed this audit to determine whether ACL appropriately oversaw the activities of independent living programs.
Our objective was to determine specifically whether ACL conducted required onsite compliance reviews or any other monitoring activities of independent living programs.
How OIG Did This Review
We obtained and reviewed documentation from ACL, such as monitoring policies and procedures and lists of grantees, to determine whether ACL conducted required onsite compliance reviews or any other monitoring activities of independent living programs. We limited our review to 284 Centers for Independent Living grantees that received funds under section 722 of the Rehabilitation Act (the Act) and 2 Independent Living Services grantees that received funds under section 723 of the Act. The Centers for Independent Living grantees received $146.6 million, and the Independent Living Services grantees received $4.8 million during the audit period, October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2017.
What OIG Found
ACL did not appropriately oversee the activities of the two independent living programs. Specifically, ACL has not conducted any onsite compliance reviews of either the Centers for Independent Living program or Independent Living Services program since beginning its oversight of the programs in July 2014.
Although ACL conducted some monitoring activities as part of the Compliance and Outcome Monitoring Protocol (COMP) program, ACL's comprehensive and targeted desk reviews did not include any onsite compliance reviews of the programs as of December 31, 2018. ACL was appropriated $156.6 million for independent living program services during the audit period. Of this amount, ACL awarded $151.4 million to grantees for independent living program services. However, ACL did not allocate sufficient funds to support onsite compliance reviews.
ACL officials said that they were unable to conduct onsite compliance reviews because of limited travel funding. Without the required onsite compliance reviews, there is no assurance that independent living programs are effectively working to maximize the independence, well-being, and health of older adults, people with disabilities, and the families and caregivers of both.
What OIG Recommends and ACL Comments
We recommend that ACL determine whether it can allocate its funds differently to enable onsite compliance reviews, seek additional department funding or resources to conduct the onsite compliance reviews, and perform required onsite compliance reviews of independent living programs.
In written comments on our draft report, ACL generally did not state whether it concurred with our recommendations but described actions it has taken, or plans to take, in response to the recommendations. ACL responded that it is not seeking resources to support a set percentage of onsite compliance reviews but will seek resources to conduct reviews, including onsite reviews, based on the risk, scope, and scale of the issues.
Although ACL's implementation of the COMP could include onsite reviews to address compliance concerns, we continue to recommend that ACL determine whether it can allocate the funds needed to conduct required onsite compliance reviews of independent living programs.
Filed under: Administration on Aging