DOE strengthens monitoring of federal spending

Maine school administrative units and other educational organizations that receive federal education funds will soon be subject to new monitoring policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with federal auditing requirements.

The Maine Department of Education has established a sub-recipient monitoring committee that comprises School Finance and Operations staff, program managers, and other staff deemed critical for the purposes of the committee. The committee will be responsible for performing risk assessments of school administrative units and other sub-recipients that are of concern to committee members.

Based on the risk assessments, the committee will determine the appropriate course of action to help school administrative units strengthen internal controls and compliance with auditing standards. The Department of Education will offer technical assistance to aid school units in this process.

Courses of action recommended by the monitoring committee will include, but not be limited to: site visits, training, telephone interviews, requests for corrective action, and monitoring to ensure that corrective action is taken. This monitoring procedure will be in addition to each federal program’s own monitoring and will apply to all federal programs.

A sub-recipient is defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget as “a non-federal entity that expends federal awards received from a pass-through entity to carry out a federal program but does not include an individual who is a beneficiary of such a program. A sub-recipient may also be a recipient of other federal awards directly from a federal awarding agency.”

These new procedures are still in the development phase. They are being implemented to identify deficiencies and opportunities to strengthen the Department’s internal control and compliance with sub-recipient monitoring requirements.

Contact Heather Neal, Supervisor of Audit, with questions by email at heather.m.neal@maine.gov or by phone at 207-624-6863.

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