The Department of Energy is working hard to assist Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), State Energy Program (SEP), and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) grantees in resolving issues that arise as they invest their Recovery Act funding in clean energy projects that are saving energy, deploying renewable resources, creating jobs and strengthening the economy.  This includes the systematic monitoring and tracking of the grants using established procedures to identify issues, provide assistance as appropriate, and track identified issues until fully resolved.

DOE’s monitoring includes quarterly off-site reviews of grantee reports and regular on-site visits.  The Office of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs (WIP) set a goal to perform approximately 750 on-site reviews each year, or 62 grantee visits per month, which results in an on-site review of each grantee with $2 million or more in funding, and provides additional monitoring for any grantees with identified issues.  Grantees under the EECBG program that received less than $2 million in Recovery Act funding are visited based on a risk profile which takes into account past performance on other grants and audit findings.

Below is a month-by-month summary of the results of DOE’s on-site visits for high-risk grantees.  Currently, we are on track to meet our goals.  As detailed below, DOE has already performed on-site visits for grantees that are recipients of $6.44 billion of the $10.59 billion total awarded funding.  The column on the right describes the critical issues identified through the review process.  Of the 13 grantees we identified with critical issues, 6 grantees have open issues that are in the process of being resolved.  In summary, our review process to date indicates that almost 95 percent of the $6.44 Billion portfolio has no identified issues of critical concern.  Our review process continues as planned.

 Critical Issues Identified

·         Buy American compliance issues (1 grantee)

·         Grantee and sub-recipient reporting problems (2 grantees)

·         Inadequate monitoring system for sub-recipients/sub-contractors (1 grantee)

·         Davis-Bacon compliance issues (3 grantees)

·         Unreturned interest earned (2 grantees)

·         Inadequate system to track inventory (1 grantee)

·         Inadequate procurement procedures (1 grantee)

·         Grantee did not receive DOE approval prior to performing work (2 grantees)

 

 Guidance Issued as a Result of Monitoring Visits

DOE is very serious about its responsibility for ensuring that funds are spent appropriately.  We continually review the results of all oversight/monitoring activity (the internal processes described above, as well as Office of the Inspector General and Government Accountability Office report results).  DOE deals directly and quickly with issues specific to each grantee, and we look for larger patterns of grantee behavior that need follow on guidance.  This approach has resulted in the issuances of new and modified guidance for our grantees and their sub recipients as appropriate.  Examples include:

·         WAP Program Notice 11-1, “Program Year 2011 Weatherization Grant Guidance,” effective December 28, 2010 – this document incorporates guidance on Davis-Bacon Act implementation, the “Buy American” provision, and Historic Preservation related issues. (http://www.waptac.org/data/files/Website_docs/Government/Guidance/2011/WPN11-1%20FINAL%20Grant%20Guidance.pdf)

·         WAP Program Notice 11-3, “Policy Regarding the Use of DOE Program Funds to Pay for Call-Back/Add-On Work After Reported to DOE as a Completed Unit,” dated December 15, 2010.  (http://www.waptac.org/data/files/website_docs/government/guidance/2011/wpn%2011-3.pdf)

·         SEP Program Notice 10-015, “Guidance for Grantees on Sub-recipient Monitoring,” effective October 26, 2010. (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/pdfs/sep_10-015_subgrantee_monitoring_guidance.pdf)

·         WAP Program Notice 10-9, “Amendment to Weatherization Program Notice 09-1B to Clarify Monitoring Requirements (Section 4.0) of the Grant Guidance to Administer the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Funding,” dated January 15, 2010. (http://www.waptac.org/data/files/technical_tools/wpn10-09.pdf)

 

Besides the issuance of written guidance, our monitoring efforts have also resulted in the following:

·         A series of workshops in coordination with the State Energy Offices to provide additional avenues for grantees to become familiar with the written guidance.

·         Creation of a prototype Programmatic Agreement and expedited process for execution of agreements to allow for streamlining the resolution of issues related to Historic Preservation requirements.

·         A “Procurement Toolkit” CD, dated October 30, 2009, designed to help grantees both streamline and comply with procurement requirements.