Connections for Success

 

01.15.16

GATA: The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act
Alison Fetzer

In an ongoing effort by the State of Illinois and the granting community to streamline the grant reporting and monitoring processes, the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act, 30 ILCS 708 (GATA) was created.

Effective July 1, 2015, all state, federal and federal pass-through awards are subject to the federal rules. The purpose of GATA, as stated by the Office of Management and Budget, is “to provide for the development of a coordinated, non-redundant process for the provision of effective and efficient oversight of the selection and monitoring of grant recipients, ensuring quality programs, limiting fraud, waste and abuse, and defining the purpose, scope, applicability and responsibilities in the life cycle of a grant.”

To achieve these goals, subcommittees composed of representatives of state agencies, grantees and sub-recipients, and members of the Grant Accountability and Transparency Unit (GATU) at the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) are working together to implement GATA.

Specifically, these subcommittees are tasked with making recommendations for rules in areas where the state and federal regulations allow for flexibility, although rules will be at least as stringent as the federal rules. Then, the subcommittees will work together to implement the new rules. Finally, they will be responsible for monitoring, updating and continuing to improve the process.

GATA will, among other things:

  • Establish a state catalog of financial assistance — similar to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance – that will list all available funds, the source of the funds and who is eligible to apply for each grant;
  • Establish audit requirements for those sub-recipients that fall below the $750,000 federal reporting threshold for state grants and for-profit entities. Historically, if an organization fell below the federally-determined threshold, the recipient was not subject to the more stringent rules. With the passing of GATA, all entities are required to follow the federal rules;
  • Establish a pre-qualification approval process for grantees and contractors;
  • Establish uniform policies and procedures across the various granting agencies, including a uniform grant application process;
  • Create a web portal for posting frequently requested information; and
  • Provide training and technical assistance for state agency staff and grantees.

The members of the GATU believe that the changes brought about by GATA will greatly cut reduce the redundancy and waste that currently plagues state agencies and grantees. Streamlining the application and reporting process should allow for both sides to reduce time spent on administration and instead allow them to focus on their mission.

For this to work, it is critical that everyone understand the new rules. Grantees are highly encouraged to take advantage of the free training and technical assistance. Visit the Illinois Office of Management and Budget’s website for more information.

For information on GATA, contact Ali Fetzer at [email protected], or call her at 312.670.7444. Visit ORBA.com to learn more about our Not-for-Profit Group.

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