Report Summary

Title: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Oversight Advisory Report – Review of the Management of Recovery Act Funds for Monument and Memorial Repairs
Report Number: 09-01814-263
Issue Date: 9/30/2010
City/State:
VA Office: National Cemetery Administration (NCA)
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type: Audits, Reviews & Evaluations
Release Type: Unrestricted
Summary: We conducted this review to determine if the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) implemented effective policies and procedures to ensure accountability and transparency for $50 million it received in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). ARRA provided funds to Federal agencies to acquire goods and services to help stimulate the U.S. economy. NCA was on track to meet the deadline for obligating ARRA funds. However, NCA needed to improve management processes to guarantee efficient administration of the funds in line with ARRA accountability and transparency objectives. We found NCA did not use a formal process to document the prioritization and selection of ARRA-funded projects. NCA did not ensure that staff completed the documentation of procurement information, as required by Departmental guidance, by recording it in the Electronic Contract Management System (eCMS). Further, NCA did not establish outcome-based performance measures for its projects to enable the achievement of ARRA-related objectives. Implementing an effective process to select future projects will ensure adequate documentation is in place to justify key decisions. Including complete information in eCMS will provide procurement accountability and transparency. Further, development of outcome-based performance measures can help assure that the projects selected will fulfill ARRA goals. We recommend the Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs develop a formal process to document the prioritization and selection of future work requirements, ensure complete procurement information is recorded in eCMS, and establish performance measurements that facilitate the monitoring and management of ARRA-related project outcomes. The Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs concurred with the report and agreed to document the prioritization and selection of future work requirements, ensure that complete procurement documentation is in eCMS, and apply ARRA-related performance measures. We plan to follow up on NCA’s corrective actions.