OIG-PA-21-05 (AmeriCorps OIG)
AmeriCorps submits quarterly grant and procurement award data for publication on USASpending.gov as required by the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Department of Treasury (Treasury) established standards for Federal agencies to use 59 data elements in reporting its financial and award information. Periodically, the AmeriCorps Office Inspector General (OIG) audits the agency’s spending data to assess its completeness, accuracy, timeliness, and quality, as well as its adherence to the government-wide data standards. AmeriCorps’ grant and procurement spending data for the first quarter of FY 2021 ranks at the lower end of the moderate level for quality, scoring 72.63 out of a possible 100 points based on metrics established by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency. The moderate score stems from the fact that the data submissions were not entirely complete, accurate, or timely. Also, AmeriCorps did not consistently use the prescribed financial data standards. These deficiencies occurred due material deficiencies in AmeriCorps’ internal control over the design, implementation, and operating effectiveness of DATA Act reporting. In addition, issues arose from AmeriCorps’ transition to a shared services provider for its financial management and reporting services. AmeriCorps is still working to resolve them. We recommended that AmeriCorps develop a plan to correct outstanding accounting and processing issues related to the transition to shared services and update its DATA Act Business Process Guide to ensure that the agency uses standardized data elements across its business processes, systems, and applications. In addition, we recommended that AmeriCorps maintain adequate documentation to support its contracts and grants awards; implement controls to require vendors to register upon receiving an award on SAM.gov; and implement effective internal control over the financial reporting process for DATA Act submissions. AmeriCorps’ management did not respond to the individual findings and recommendations but stated that management plans to review them and issue a formal management decision as to each.
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