Monday, May 16, 2011

Read the Terms of Your Federal Grant

If you work for a public agency and receive any federal funding for any of your projects, make sure you carefully read and comply with the terms of your grant.  Obtaining federal funding brings with it a host of requirements.

The failure to comply with a number of common federal requirements on public works construction projects often results in audit findings.
  • Federal Prevailing Wages (Davis-Bacon Act).  The Nespelem (WA) School District No. 14 was recently cited by the Washington State Auditor's Office for failure to notify contractors that federal prevailing wages applied to three construction projects.  The School District also did not collect weekly certified payrolls from the contractor and all subcontractors.
  • Federal Debarment Check:  The Sumner (WA) School District No. 320 received an audit finding from the Washington State Auditor's Office for failure to verify that a vendor was not debarred under federal requirements.  While the District was aware of the requirement, it did not have adequate internal controls to ensure compliance when they purchased $120,878 of textbooks with funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2011 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

1 comment:

Fred Siegel said...

Excellent point Mike. The consequences of non compliance with Davis-Bacon can't be understated. Not only will you be assessed the back wages owed, there are also the penalties and the red flag on your file from Department of Labor and other government agencies. Regardless if the reason was ignorance, the responsibility of compliance began when the contract was signed. Read your terms and ALL the fine print. If you do not understand something, have a person familiar with these contracts and conditions review them to be sure. The question is not, if the government will catch you, the question is when. They always will.

Thanks Mike.