In November 2012 President Obama signed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. (WPEA) This piece of legislation significantly improved the whistleblower protections for federal whistleblowers.
Whistleblowers play a critical role in exposing waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement as well as risk to public health and safety in all areas of the Federal government.
You could even say those whistleblower disclosures save lives in addition to protecting billions of taxpayer dollars
Similarly, organizations receiving federal grants should aware of their responsibilities to prevent waste, fraud, and misuse of federal funds.
Best practices include an employee “hotline” or whistleblower process.
What Does Grant Compliance Have to Do with Whistleblowers?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) most grant fraud, waste, and misuse of funds fall into these “Big Three” general categories:
- Conflicts of interest
- “Lying” or failing to properly support the use of grant funds
- Theft of funds
And many times these types of problems are first identified by whistle-blowers.
If you want to see the Department of Justice presentation, just click on the link:
So, if you are a grant recipient who cares about continued funding, recognize that funders may want to know what YOU are doing to prevent and detect these “Big Three” compliance risks.
How about it?
Does your organization support whistle-blowers?
Let’s look at how supporting compliance for your federal grants includes a smooth path for employees to report issues.
How to Detect a Conflict of Interest
The first step in grant compliance is to ensure that people know what is required of them when they accept grant funding.
For example, would your employees know a “conflict of interest” if they saw one?
How about “proper support” for use of Grant funds?
A PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that employee disclosures were responsible for the detection of more fraud than auditors, internal compliance officers, and law enforcement combined.
But if you don’t have an effective employee hotline process, you may miss the warning signs.
For example, what if your process only includes reporting to the employee’s immediate supervisors?
You may be putting employees in an “awkward” position if the if the potential conflict of interest involves the person’s immediate supervisor.
Yikes, not fun!
So best practices for detecting a conflict of interest include not only a comprehensive Code of Conduct that meets the requirements of the Uniform Guidance but also a well-designed whistleblower process for alerting the organization to potential conflicts of interest.
Help Employees Understand the Grant Compliance Requirements
At MyFedTrainer, we started with a simple premise “People want to do the right thing!”
We also understand reality:
- Many employees don’t understand the specific responsibilities that come with receiving Federal funds.
- Organizations are busy with their core functions and often don’t have time to manage and monitor employee training.
That’s why we’re so “pumped up” about our grant management training course and templates that show you the “right” thing to do to keep your grant funds flowing.
With online training, live seminars, and live on-site grant management training, our goal is to be the “easy-peezy” training solution for federal grant recipients.
If you are committed to ensuring employees know the responsibilities for grant compliance that come with receiving federal funds.
Don’t wait for a “whistleblower” to expose your employee’s lack of understanding.
Help ensure compliance through adequate training and robust, well-designed processes and procedures.
Ready to Improve Your Grant Management?
How about you?
Would you like to be a better grant manager?
We have another grant management training seminar coming soon.
Click here to get all the details!
Hope to see you there!
Lucy Morgan CPA, MBA
CEO, Compliance Warrior
Author of “Decoding Grant Management-The Ultimate Success Guide to the Federal Grant Regulations in 2 CFR Part 200” The 2nd Edition is now available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle versions.