The Obama administration has released additional guidance in order to crack down on recipients of Recovery Act money who haven't reported their spending data.

In a memo dated Tuesday, May 4, from Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Peter Orszag, the administration outlines the additional steps federal agencies must take to identify and remedy non-reporters receiving funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Many of the primary recipients of Recovery Act funds are state agencies and cities and counties.

The vast majority of recipients have complied with the reporting obligations; however, where a recipient has failed to meet these obligations, agencies will be held accountable for taking appropriate actions to enforce the reporting requirements.

The new guidance directs federal agencies to:

  • contact new recipients prior to the beginning of each reporting period to notify them of their reporting obligations;
  • contact recipients who in prior quarters have not reported when required and pursue consistent and comprehensive follow-up to achieve reporting; 
  • mandate use of available tools to actively monitor recipients during the reporting period and requires outreach to recipients who have not reported prior to the close of the reporting period; 
  • obtain recipient compliance with their reporting responsibilities or pursue sanctions and remedies, which may include termination of funds; and 
  • report noncompliant recipients to the OMB within five days of the quarterly close.

The administration has said the reporting process for the stimulus is more granular than previous federal grant-making procedures, and that the detail would spur transparent data. But at the outset, when the first quarterly financial reports came due during the fourth quarter of 2009, some confusion about the requirements persisted.