Government regulations for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) grants can be overwhelming for new grantees, and this problem can be magnified when there is a language barrier involved. This was the case in a Spanish speaking U.S. territory. Although the Technical Project Officer (TPO) was well qualified to monitor the project, it became clear during a site visit that something was getting lost in translation.
Action was taken by the Las Vegas Site Office Manager to assign a TPO with Spanish language skills who could communicate with the grantee counterparts. The TPO frequently contacted the grantee to help them better understand the required reporting documents, as well as help EERE understand the needs of the grantee.
The improved communication with the grantee’s personnel was highly beneficial. The project finished ahead of schedule, and close-out proceeded with no problems.