To address problems with its methodology for calculating administrative costs, Education should revise its list of accounting codes that it considers administrative in light of its review of regional coding.
The MEPFH contains a revised definition of administrative expenditures and guidance on how to annotate administrative positions in the expenditure reports.
As noted under recommendation eight, Education's method for calculating administrative costs no longer relies directly on a region's use of a particular accounting code. Education has provided guidance in its migrant education program fiscal handbook about what costs should be considered administrative. Therefore, although it appears Education did not conduct a review of the regional coding of administrative costs, we consider this recommendation resolved.
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.