Grant Fraud Responsibilities
Grant Fraud and the Responsibilities of Award Recipients
The following information from the National Procurement Fraud Task Force, established by President Obama in 2009, are designed to help you protect your organization and the source of your federal funds by helping to detect and prevent fraud:
Why are federal grants awarded?
Each year, the United States Government awards more than $500 billion in Federal Assistance Agreements, most commonly in the form of grants that help to:
Support national infrastructure programs in transportation, homeland security, criminal justice, agriculture, human health, and the environment
Fund scientific research, studies, and analysis
Further the social sciences, art, literature, and promote cultural enrichment
Unfortunately, grant dollars are susceptible to fraud, waste, and abuse.
What are the responsibilities of award recipients?
Recipients of federal grants have been awarded funds to carry out the goals and objectives identified in the grant. These funds are subject to certain regulations, oversight, and audit.
Grant recipients are stewards of federal funds.
Grant dollars must be used for their intended purpose.
Grant recipients must account for costs and justify expenditures.
Using federal grant dollars for unjust enrichment, personal gain, or other than their intended use is a form of theft, subject to criminal and civil prosecution under the laws of the United States.
What actions are violations of grant fraud statutes?
Federal grant dollars are susceptible to several forms of financial theft, most commonly in the form of specific federal violations, including:
Theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds
Mail fraud and wire fraud
Each of these violations of law are subject to criminal prosecution, fines, restitution, and civil penalties.
What are some examples of grant fraud?
Grant fraud occurs in many ways, but some of the most common fraud scenarios include:
Charging personal expenses as business expenses against the grant
Charging for costs which have not been incurred or are not attributable to the grant
Charging for inflated labor costs or hours, or categories of labor which have not been incurred (for example, fictitious employees, contractors or consultants)
Falsifying information in grant applications or contract proposals
Billing more than one grant or contract for the same work
Falsifying test results or other data
Substituting approved materials with unauthorized products
Misrepresenting a project's status to continue receiving government funds
Charging higher rates than those stated or negotiated for in the bid or contract
Influencing government employees to award a grant or contract to a particular company, family member, or friend
How can grant fraud be detected and prevented?
As a grant recipient, you can protect your organization and the source of your federal funds by detecting and preventing fraud:
Establish an adequate and effective system of accounting, internal controls, records control, and records retention.
Implement an internal compliance and ethics program that encourages the recognition and reporting of fraud, waste, or abuse.
Report suspected fraud to the Inspector General of the government agency that distributed the federal grant funds.