State Grant Transparency and Accountability Act

State Grant Transparency and Accountability Act

 

Summary

The collection and reporting on the use of public grants is an important tool for properly stewarding tax dollars.  The purpose of this Act is to improve transparency and accountability in the state grant making process by creating a publically accessible web portal containing categorized expenditure information detailing the use of a state grant.  The bill would set compliance requirements for grant recipients and provide probation and suspension remedies for noncompliance.

Model Policy

 

Section 1. {Purpose}

 

The State Department charged with overseeing State grants, within 12 months after the effective date of this Act, shall establish and maintain a website, known as the State Transparency and Accountability Portal (STAP), containing a publically accessible database with information received from all State agencies as defined in this Act.

Section 2. {Definitions}

(A)  “State agency” means the offices of the constitutional officers identified in the state constitution, executive agencies, and departments, boards, commissions, Authorities under the Governor.

 

(B)  “Grants,” or “Grants of State funds” means payment obligations awarded by the State and which is funded directly by State revenues rather than a federal program.

 

(C)  “Grantee,” or “Grant recipients” means individual or entity awarded a grant of State funds.

Section 3. {Grantee information collection.}

 

(A) As soon as possible after the effective date of this Act, the Department shall develop a standardized grantee basic information collection form and a standardized grantee performance reporting form and shall deliver an electronic copy of those forms to each State agency that awards grants of State funds. Beginning {insert date} each State agency that awards grants of State funds shall maintain a copy of the standardized grantee basic information collection form and a copy of the standardized grantee performance reporting form on its website.

 

(B) The standardized grantee basic information collection form developed by the Department shall provide for the collection of the following information:

(1) the name, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, and fax number of the individual or entity that was awarded grant of State funds;

 

(2) in the case of an entity, its tax identification number, the dates when its fiscal year begins and ends, the name and title of its contact person, the uniform resource locator (URL) for its website, and a classification of the amount of its funding that comes from each of the following categories: federal governmental sources, state governmental sources, local governmental sources, and other sources of funding; and (3) a succinct statement of the goals to be achieved through the award of the State grant funds.

 

(C) Each recipient of a grant of State funds shall accurately complete a grantee basic information collection form for each grant of State funds awarded on or after  {insert date} and shall submit a copy of the following items for each such grant to the Department not later than 30 days after the first disbursement of funds under that grant:

(1) a completed grantee basic information collection form;

(2) a completed grant application if one was required by the State agency; and

(3) in the case of a tax-exempt entity, a copy of its publicly filed and publicly disclosed IRS form 990, excluding Schedule B.

 

(D) The standardized grantee performance reporting form developed by the Department shall provide for the reporting of the following information:

(1) the outcomes achieved by the State-funded grant program (stated in a manner that expressly quantifies the public benefits resulting from the use of public moneys) since the date the State grant was awarded or the date the form was last filed by the recipient for that program, whichever is later;

(2) an assessment of the total and unit costs incurred to achieve the stated outcomes since the date the State grant was awarded or the date the form was last filed by the recipient for that program, whichever is later; and

(3) a table of the expenditures made with State grant funds by the grantee, for each of the following categories of expenses since the date the State grant was awarded or the date the form was last filed by the recipient for that program, whichever is later:

(A) personnel;

(B) contractual services;

(C) office supplies and materials;

(D) service-related supplies;

(E) travel;

(F) communications and postage;

(G) utilities;

(H) printing and binding;

(I) repair and maintenance;

(J) meeting and conference expenses;

(K) non-travel related employee training expenses;

(L) classified advertising;

(M) office rental;

(N) furniture rental;

(O) equipment rental;

(P) vehicle rental;

(Q) dues and subscriptions;

(R) insurance and bonding;

(S) books and reference materials;

(T) mortgage principal, interest, and bank fees;

(U) buildings and improvements;

(V) leasehold improvements;

(W) services other than contractual services;

(X) stipends, scholarships, bonuses, and grants;

(Y) food; and

(Z) any other expenses.

 

(E) Each recipient of a grant of State funds shall accurately complete a standardized grantee performance reporting form for each grant of State funds awarded on or after {insert date} and shall submit a copy of the completed form to the Department not later than 3 months after the last day of each fiscal year of the grantee during which State grant funds are received.

 

Section 4. {Grantee information reporting.}

 

(A) The Department shall publish a copy of the standardized grantee performance reporting form in the publically available online portal no later than 30 days after receipt.

 

(B) If a recipient of a State grant awarded on or after {insert date} fails to comply with subsection (c) or (e) of Section 3, then that grant recipient shall be placed on a publically available non-compliance list, which shall be maintained on the Department’s STAP website and updated by the Department on a monthly basis. If that grant recipient remains on the non-compliance list for more than 2 months, then it shall be placed on a publically available suspension of funding list, which shall also be maintained on the Department’s STAP website and updated by the Department on a monthly basis. Once a grant recipient’s name appears on the suspension of funding list, no disbursements of State grant funds shall be made to that grant recipient and no State grants may be awarded to that grant recipient until such time as the grant recipient reestablishes compliance. The Department shall maintain a searchable archive of suspension of funding lists.

 

(C) Each grant agreement entered into between a State agency and a grant recipient on or after {insert date} shall contain provisions that are consistent with the requirements of this Act.

Section 5. {Severability clause.}

Section 6. {Repealer clause.}

Section 7. {Effective date.}

This Act takes effect upon becoming law.

 

Adopted by the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force at the Spring Task Force Summit May 3, 2013.

Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors, August 5, 2013.

 

Keyword Tags: Accountability, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, Transparency

Task Forces