Making Sure More Federal Grant Money Actually Gets Spent

Northeastern University students provide some of the first comprehensive study into a widespread problem with the neglect of federal grant money.

1 minute read

April 16, 2017, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Cvandyke / Shutterstock

Betsy Gardner writes to share the results of her team from Northeastern University's fall 2016 capstone, which looked into the issue of unspent federal grant money.

Gardner reports that despite alarms raised by the Government Accountability Office and a few senators on Capitol Hill, the challenge of undisbursed federal grant money "has not been very thoroughly researched and is just beginning to receive more comprehensive attention." The capstone team sought to identify the root causes of the systematic neglect of federal grants. The team's recommendations are organized into categories of organizational capacity, auditing and oversight, and information technology. "Despite the varied classifications, each case study city experienced challenges in those three areas, which prevented them from using the federal funding they were awarded," explains Gardner.

Gardner presented the findings of the capstone project to a roundtable discussion called "Leaving Money on the Table: The Challenge of Unspent Federal Grants," a Washington, D.C. event co-hosted by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in Northeastern University

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