Maine DOE implements fiscal risk assessment tool for SAUs receiving IDEA funds

Beginning with the FY 16 grant year, and due to the recent adoption of Uniform Guidance for federal grants (UG), Maine DOE Special Services has implemented a fiscal risk assessment tool for all Maine school administrative units (SAUs) receiving Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), PART B – 611 or 619 funds. The assessment calculates fiscal risk by assigning weighted numeric values to multiple measures impacting federal grant management resulting in a total risk value. Examples of measures used in the calculation of the total risk value include:

  • SAU total grant award dollar amount
  • type of accounting system(s) used by SAUs
  • Current and prior SAU grant management experience and history
  • Prior SAU grant compliance reporting experience and history

SAUs are then grouped into one of three types or tiers: low, moderate, or high based on total risk value.

All Maine SAUs have been assessed and assigned total risk values for the FY 16 grant year. SAUs are subject to variable monitoring procedures based on their total risk value and corresponding risk type. The chart below outlines each of the three types and aligned monitoring procedures.

Federal Program Pre-Award Risk Assessment
Matrix for Monitoring by Risk Type

SAU Fiscal Monitoring Procedures                   Risk Type
Low Medium High
One random and one forced documentation request for grant invoice submissions    X
Scheduled technical assistance   to address and correct identified weaknesses for new grant award**      X     X
Requested corrective action plan to resolve identified weaknesses and assess progress during on site review      X     X
Increased documentation requests for grant invoice submissions per program manager discretion      X
Forced documentation request for all grant invoice submissions     X***
Scheduled site visit per established monitoring schedule    X     X
Scheduled site visit if not part of established monitoring visit     X***
Required quarterly MEDMS Financial Submissions to include grant transactions     X
** Technical assistance
√ documented by date/delivery method/sub recipient attendance/topic(s) covered
√   delivery methods may include:
 ● Webinar ● one on one meeting ● conference call ● group meeting
*** High Risk Monitoring
For SAUs placed in the high risk tier due to late reporting, noted high risk requirements may be forgone IF a corrective action plan is filed by the school unit detailing how reports will be received by due date for subsequent award year.

Notification of the risk assessment and resulting monitoring actions are now included and highlighted in the annual online IDEA grant system award notification. Maine DOE Special Services is currently developing monitoring procedures, implementation and tracking processes for each risk tier. The Department will keep SAUs informed as monitoring procedures are finalized and operationalized.

Click here to view the Department’s complete risk assessment template including all measures.

For additional information, contact Ted Fournier at 624-6845 or