With an unprecedented amount of funds being disbursed under the Recovery Act, and a Presidential mandate calling for high levels of transparency and accountability, EERE program officers have increased responsibilities in monitoring project performance, ensuring quality work, and promoting best practices.
During a monitoring site visit for the recipient of a financial assistance awards under the Weatherization Assistance Program, EERE’s Project Officer identified issues with one of the recipient’s billing processes. A sub recipient to the state allowed a contractor to submit invoices for completed work that exceeded what EERE considers reasonable and acceptable prices.
Call in the auditors! The recipient’s internal auditors conducted follow up to verify that the billing practice was indeed incorrect. Then they reviewed every one of the 200 project files to see if this mistake had been repeated anywhere else. The recipients found that the improper billing had occurred 48 other times. The result? The recipient was overcharged by more than $90,000.
While the recipient and sub recipient are resolving the overcharge, they are regularly updating EERE staff about the progress of getting reimbursed for the overcharges. They are also reviewing the billing practices of everyone they work with to ensure that no one else was overcharged. Thanks to careful monitoring and support from EERE, the recipient has become better equipped to guarantee that projects deliver results for the right price.