When managing a Federal disaster grant, it’s essential to tell your entire story to both HUD and the public. Often, grantees are so busy starting up and running their grant programs that they fail to realize the importance of this. Transparency is key and HUD’s Disaster Recovery Grant Reporting (DRGR) system gives you the chance to tell your story fully and completely. The DRGR provides grantees access to their grant funds and is the mechanism for entering the grant activity details and reporting on the grant progress.
The beginning of the story shows HUD the plan for funding. After receiving DRGR access and activating a grant, the grantee will enter the electronic version of the approved Action Plan, outlining how exactly funds will be used. The electronic Action Plan is the structure of projects and activities and informs HUD of each activity’s specific information, such as: budget and projected beneficiaries, along with any projected performance measures. All other functions within DRGR will be based upon the structure of the electronic Action Plan. It’s critical that the grantee knows and understands the rules and criteria for splitting out their activities, as well as the end use and beneficiaries for those activities. Ensuring the correct set up can prevent concerns or findings from being issued by HUD during an audit.
Once activities have been set up and budgets obligated, the grantee is able to draw funds against those activities. Grantees will also be required to use DRGR to track the receipt and expenditures of program income, generated by those activities funded with Federal dollars. Each quarter, grantees being funded with Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds must also complete Quarterly Performance Reports (QPR) within the system, to inform HUD and the public of the progress completed during the quarter. This is where you tell the rest of the story, where you tell HUD what activities have been completed, measures that have been met and the beneficiaries that have been benefitted. The QPR reports are due 30 days past the close of the quarter. Late QPRs can lead to findings being issued by HUD against a grantee and consecutive late QPRs can lead to sanctions.
Throughout the grant programs, information must be entered into DRGR regarding oversight activities conducted by the grantee over their sub-grantees or sub recipients. HUD reviews this information to ensure each grantee is monitoring their grant activities; to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse; and also that the grantee is providing technical assistance to sub recipients and/or sub grantees.
DRGR provides reports consisting of program data entered and maintained within the system in relation to the grantee’s grants, projects, and activities. This makes it much easier to pull data quickly and communicate program information and status to stakeholders. HUD utilizes these reports to oversee the grantee activities and for the Action Plan and QPR reviews.
Above all else, grantees need to maintain a great line of communication with their HUD representative to ensure everyone remains on the same page. Effective communication will help reduce the amount of time required for the HUD staff to review submitted plans and reports and will provide a much greater chance for your story to be one about success.
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