The Department of Education’s office of innovation and improvement should investigate more quickly when grant recipients spend their money faster than department policy allows, according to a report issued last week by the department’s inspector general.
The innovation office oversees two dozen discretionary-grant programs, including the Troops to Teachers program and the National Writing Project, which promotes teacher training in effective writing instruction.
Grant recipients are supposed to draw down money over the course of the specified grant period. However, the department’s inspector general found in an Oct. 16 report that in some cases, money was drawn down faster, and the innovation and improvement office did not address the issue in a timely fashion. In one case, a grantee had drawn 100 percent of its grant funds by the end of the second quarter of the grant period.
Morgan S. Brown, the assistant deputy secretary for the office, said in a letter that each report of excessive spending was investigated, but the workload prevented a response on a monthly basis.
A version of this article appeared in the October 25, 2006 edition of Education Week