August 12, 2022

Special Report on Prospective Considerations for Projects Awarded Through Financial Assistance Awards

We initiated this capstone review to summarize any historic reports that may serve to improve internal controls to help prevent fraud, waste, and abuse as the Department of Energy launches its Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and other appropriations-funded projects distributed through financial assistance awards. 

We identified six major risk areas that warrant immediate attention from Department leadership to prevent similar problems from recurring.  These six areas include: recipient fraud; insufficient Federal staffing; inadequate oversight of projects; circumvention of project controls; inadequate internal controls; and lack of recipient-level controls. 

As the Department moves forward with its Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and other appropriation projects, this report identified several prospective considerations to help mitigate risk associated with financial assistance awards.  In particular, we suggest that the Department take steps to set aside sufficient resources for Federal staffing, develop comprehensive policies and procedures, and build strong internal controls to ensure that the Government and taxpayers are adequately protected. 

We made no formal recommendations in this report.