Importance of documenting expenses on sponsored projects

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday, October 19, 2012, the U.S. Justice Department issued a press
release announcing a $530,000 false claims settlement with the
University of the District of Columbia (UDC) related to a National
Science Foundation (NSF) award. The press release is available at:

This settlement serves as a reminder of the importance of documenting
expenses charged to grants. In particular, it underscores the
importance of documentation supporting the allowability of grant
charges. In this case, the settlement notes that UDC did not maintain
adequate documentation to support the allowability of expenses
consistent with the programmatic purposes of their NSF grant. In
addition, the settlement also serves as a reminder of the importance of
securing sponsor approval prior to using grant funds for purposes not
included in the approved program or scope of work.

As a result of the settlement, UDC has agreed to implement a compliance
program for the purpose of ensuring compliance with award terms and
conditions, applicable laws and regulations and to demonstrate UDC’s
comment to prevent fraud, false claims, misspending and mismanagement of
its sponsored awards.

Bruce Morgan

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Administration

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