To address problems with its methodology for calculating administrative costs, Education should provide regions with more specific direction about how to charge these expenses.
Education completed the revision of the Migrant Education Program Fiscal Handbook (MEPFH) in June 2015, posted the final MEPFH on the Web, and provided a Web-based presentation to subgrantees (regions and direct-funded districts). The MEPFH includes information on: (1) allowable program costs; (2) clear definitions of administrative costs; (3) direct services and Migrant Education Program (MEP)-unique administrative costs; (4) new citations to align with the updated Uniform Grants Guidance; and (5) the use of funds for, but not limited to, administrative salaries, procurement, meetings, food, travel, conferences, field trips, capital outlay, and property.
In Fiscal Year 2015-16, Education plans to execute a series of three to five in-depth Webinars to fully explain each section of the MEPFH.
As noted under recommendation number eight, Education no longer relies directly on accounting codes to calculate administrative costs, but instead uses its regional application process to define the service and administrative costs at each region. Therefore, we believe Education has addressed the issue that underlay this recommendation to provide more specific direction regarding which accounting codes regions should use to charge administrative expenditures.
As reported in Education's response update to CSA Recommendation No. 1, to facilitate consistency and more guidance to regions, the revised MEPFH will include: 1) an updated list of accounting codes; (2) criteria for allowable program costs; and (3) general guidelines pertaining to supplement-not-supplant, meetings and trainings, travel, conferences, food, field trips, and other areas. The revised MEPFH also addresses capital outlay and property, including criteria for capital purchases such as vehicles and other equipment. Education plans to complete the final MEPFH by December 2014.
Education is in the final stages of revising the MEPFH. To facilitate consistency and more guidance to regions, the revised MEPFH includes an updated list of accounting codes and criteria for allowable program costs and general guidelines pertaining to supplement-not-supplant, meetings and trainings, travel, conferences, food, field trips, and other areas. The revised MEPFH also addresses capital outlay and property, including criteria for capital purchases such as vehicles and other equipment.
Education established a Migrant Education Office (MEO) "fiscal team" of individuals to provide feedback and expertise throughout the process of revising the Migrant Education Fiscal Handbook (see status update to Recommendation No. 1). The fiscal team is working to ensure accounting code consistency and the incorporation of new allocation codes; guidance will be provided to regions as explained in status updates to Recommendations No. 3 and 4.
The U.S. Department of Education revised the budget portions of the DSA and RA for 2013-14 to clarify the types of expenditures as they relate directly to programs. In addition, as described in the response to recommendation number four, Education is also making other reporting revisions to allow a more effective selection of expenditures for review.
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.