As part of our commitment to transparency and good management, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is working hard to advance new performance monitoring plans and centralized systems that enable the efficient organization and reporting of financial assistance data from our grantees.  The implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act meant more funding and more data to track, which provided an opportunity to test and further refine these new systems.

In August 2010, the Department approved the Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment (RDD&D) Monitoring plan and appendix, which were designed to ensure that the monitoring plans provided clear guidance to headquarters and field personnel responsible for the oversight of EERE’s RDD&D financial assistance portfolio.

 

The plan outlines specific monitoring practices for financial assistance recipients’ RDD&D activities, and provides tools and templates to support the implementation and reporting. This monitoring plan was developed in addition to the Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program (WIP) monitoring plan to better account for the differences between WIP’s broad deployment projects and EERE’s nine other RDD&D programs.    

 

Since the Monitoring plan was announced, Field Operations has worked closely with our monitoring personnel to ensure the monitoring requirements and expectations are well understood and successfully implemented. EERE staff have hosted six informational and training Webinars for more than 150 attendees in the field and at headquarters to introduce the monitoring plan and new reporting requirements; and a new Web-based centralized repository to store data—“IMPACT”— came online in November 2010.

 

And already we are seeing the data roll in.  So far, headquarters has received all of the expected RDD&D desktop review reports (nearly 350) —standard online forms delineating the outcomes of quarterly reporting—for Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2010 from Project Officers in the field. Initial analysis of the data indicates the vast majority of projects are on schedule, on budget and within scope. 

We are committed to acting as responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, so EERE staff are actively monitoring and overseeing grants, developing and implementing mitigation strategies and corrective actions, and holding grantees responsible to ensure there is no fraud, waste or abuse of federal funds.  We are constantly learning as we move forward – collecting best practices and sharing those lessons learned across our organization – which continues to strengthen our monitoring efforts. 

Keep checking our “Lessons Learned blog” for updates!