Community Economic Development (CED), Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals (JOLI), and Assets For Independence (AFI) are community-based U.S Department of Health and Human Services discretionary grants given to non-profits and State, local and Tribal government agencies that use an asset-based approach to combating poverty within the community.
On behalf of HHS, BCT provided compliance monitoring services to CED/JOLI/AFI grantees throughout the country identifying material or significant weaknesses in programmatic, financial, personnel, procurement, travel, budget, or property systems that might hinder the intended outcome of the projects for which the grants was awarded. The reviews help OCS establish internal controls to provide assurances that grantees are effectively and efficiently in compliance with the applicable laws and regulations.
BCT created and designed the AFI site monitoring manual and updated the CED/JOLI manual. BCT was responsible for creating the pre-visit, site-visit, and post-site visit protocol for staff and contractors. We worked closely with OCS to choose site visit locations, collect the necessary grantee documents, and communicate the purpose and need of the site visits to grantees. We trained staff on monitoring processes and procedures, contacted grantees pertaining to the monitoring visit, conducted regular conference calls, led meetings during on-site visits, and prepared detailed post-visit reports on the monitoring visit.
Each contract year, BCT conducted 20 to 40 site visits to grantees across the country. Grantees were chosen based on grant status, geographic diversity, and number of grants. BCT was responsible for assessing the grantees’ process toward project goals and determining the effectiveness of their operations. We also assessed the reliability of the grantee’s performance reports, verified the reliability of the financial reporting, including reports on budget execution, financial management systems and other reports for internal and external use, and established the grantee’s level of compliance with applicable laws and regulations, grantee agreements or provisions of contracts.
Lastly, BCT produced detailed reports stating the findings of each monitoring visit which will be used by HHS to better regulate the progress of the CED/JOLI/AFI programs.