Health and Human Services

Documentation of Funding Decisions for Child Abuse and Neglect Grants Inadequate Gao ID: HRD-87-69 May 22, 1987

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Human Development Services (OHDS) discretionary grant funding for National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect projects, focusing on the extent to which OHDS: (1) selected and rejected grant applications out of ranking order without written justification; and (2) selected grant applications for noncompetitive review without written justification.

GAO found that: (1) OHDS approved 129 of the 234 full grant applications during fiscal years (FY) 1984 and 1985; (2) of the 105 applications not funded, OHDS noncompetitively reviewed 3 without written justification; (3) of the 102 applications that OHDS competitively reviewed, it rejected 9 out of ranking order without written justification; (4) OHDS rejected 5 competitively reviewed applications with vague and brief written justifications; and (5) OHDS rejected 46 preapplications out of ranking order and selected 39 preapplications out of ranking order, with inadequate or no written justification. GAO also found that OHDS did not properly maintain: (1) official files for rejected applications; (2) documentation indicating the resolution of reviewers' concerns and recommendations; or (3) documentation summarizing the reviewers' comments and recommendations. In addition, GAO found that OHDS failed to address documentation issues in a 1986 memorandum on grant review policies.


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