Enhancing Quality Assurance in the Award and Administration of Financial Assistance Transactions

December 28, 2006

Financial Assistance Communication Liaison Policy Release: 2007 - 1

To: Financial Assistance Communication Liaisons

Subject: Enhancing Quality Assurance in the Award and Administration of Financial Assistance Transactions

The purpose of this policy issuance is to provide bureau/office financial assistance programs with additional quality assurance tools for immediate use, and to reiterate the requirements found in Part 505, Section 2 of the Departmental Manual (DM) regarding:

  • selection of the appropriate award instrument, i.e., grant, contract, or cooperative agreement;
  • the need for clear legal authority for entering into financial assistance agreements; and
  • increased competition, where appropriate, and transparency in all financial assistance transactions.

For the purpose of this policy, financial assistance awards are defined as grants and cooperative agreements.

In an effort to ensure that Department of the Interior financial assistance awards are made in accordance with Office of Management and Budget policy and 505 Departmental Manual (DM) requirements, all financial assistance awards must include a completed Financial Assistance Agreement Review Sheet (attached). This checklist must also be used in the conduct of management reviews of financial assistance transactions. A copy of the checklist was also provided to bureaus/offices with the December 5, 2006, Fiscal Year 2007 Internal Control/Departmental Functional Review Guidance for Acquisition, Financial Assistance, and Property Management.

In completing the checklist, financial assistance officials must ensure that they address the applicability and extent of competition for each transaction awarded.

A flowchart mapping the process bureaus offices should use when determining proper award instrument selection is also attached for immediate use and reference.

Please contact Kate Oliver of my staff at 202-208-3345 if you have any additional questions.

Debra E. Sonderman, Director
Office of Acquisition and Property Management

Review Sheet

Flow Chart