FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Books, dissertations, abstract

Pages:   || 2 |

«National Science Foundation • Office of Inspector General 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite I-1135, Arlington, Virginia 22230 MEMORANDUM DATE: January ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

National Science Foundation • Office of Inspector General

4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite I-1135, Arlington, Virginia 22230


DATE: January 29, 2016

TO: Joanne S. Tornow

Office Head, Office of Information & Resources Management and

Chief Human Capital Officer

FROM: Dr. Brett M. Baker

Assistant Inspector General for Audit

SUBJECT: Follow-Up Review of Cost Associated with NSF’s Use of Executive Level Intergovernmental Personnel Act Assignees, Report # 16-6-001 To advance the agency's mission of supporting science and engineering research and education, NSF draws on scientists, engineers, and educators on rotational assignment from academia, industry, or other eligible organizations. All of the non-permanent appointments are federal employees, except for individuals under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), who are paid through grants and remain employees of their home institutions.

NSF matches the salaries IPAs receive at their home institutions and provides them with temporary living expenses, time and travel expenses to continue research activities at their home institutions under NSF’s established Independent Research and Development (IR/D) program, compensation for consulting income lost while the assignee is at NSF, and reimbursement for state taxes in certain circumstances. Because NSF pays IPA costs out of program funds, reducing these costs could make more money available for other research grants.

We conducted a follow-up review to assess NSF’s progress toward reducing IPA costs since our 2013 audit 1, which recommended that NSF evaluate ways to reduce costs of its IPA program. As part of this review 2, we examined the cost of executive IPAs as of September 2015 and compared them to the cost of executive IPAs 3 in August 2012, the time period reviewed in the 2013 audit.

OIG Report No. 13-2-008, Audit of Cost Associated with NSF’s Use of Intergovernmental Personnel Act Assignees, issued March 20, 2013, identified the cost of NSF’s IPAs as of August 2012. This audit examined the cost of all IPAs, not just executive IPAs. For the comparative purpose of this review, we extracted the cost of executive IPAs.

This memorandum communicates the results of our follow-up review, which is a routine activity as defined by Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards.

Executive level IPAs hold positions at NSF equivalent to the Senior Executive Service, such as Assistant Directors and Division Directors who lead NSF’s science directorates and divisions.

Results of Follow-up Review We found that NSF has not reduced the cost of its executive level IPAs. In fact, as shown in the table below, both the number of such IPAs and their cost have increased since 2012.

NSF has 29 percent more executive level IPAs in 2015 than in 2012, costing nearly $2.4 million more. NSF paid nearly $8.9 million for salary, fringe benefits, lost consulting, and per diem for 27 executive level IPAs in 2015 and $6.5 million for the same expenses for 21 executive level IPAs in 2012. 4 We note progress in that there is an increased number of institutions sharing in the cost of IPAs. However, as explained in the details that follow, additional opportunities to reduce the cost of executive IPAs exist.

–  –  –

In our 2013 audit report, we recommended that NSF take appropriate action to evaluate ways the cost of both executive and non-executive level IPAs could be reduced and suggested the

following four actions:

• Studying expanded use of telework,

• Seeking increased cost sharing from IPAs’ home institutions,

• Limiting annualization of IPA salaries to the federal pay rate for the position, and

• Reviewing fringe benefit rates that exceed an amount determined by NSF.

Following is a summary of NSF’s progress in each of these areas since 2013.

Expanding Use of Telework for IPAs Our 2013 audit found that two of the largest incremental costs of using IPAs instead of permanent employees were temporary living expenses and travel for Independent Research and Development (IR/D). In response, NSF said that it would develop new guidelines on See Attachment A for the Executive IPA salaries NSF paid, net of cost share, for both years examined.

IR/D travel and telework. NSF gave us a status report on this effort in September 2015, which stated that it had not completed the guidance. NSF also informed us that it planned to pilot remote duty assignments, but it had not started this program at the time of our review.

Limiting Annualization of IPA Salaries to the Federal Pay Rate NSF policy requires that unless the Deputy Director grants a waiver, the IPA salary for a 9month university employee should be annualized by limiting the additional 3 months to the maximum federal pay rate for that position. In 2012, NSF did not use this modified formula to calculate the salary of any of the seven executive IPAs with 9-month home institution salaries. By annualizing the 9-month salary on a straight basis, NSF makes the IPA’s salary equal to what he or she would earn if the IPA received a 12-month, rather than a 9-month, salary from their home institution. Under this process, an IPA earning $20,000 per month at his home institution for 9 months, receives an annual salary of $240,000 (12 x $20,000) at NSF.

In 2015, we found that NSF had 16 executive IPAs with 9-month home salaries. NSF did not use the modified formula to calculate the salary for any of these IPAs. While NSF paid the home salary for one of these IPAs for 11 months, the other 15 IPAs received a straight annualization of their home salary. The financial impact of such waivers is significant given the number of IPAs that earn over the maximum federal amount. In 2015, 13 of the 16 executive IPAs with 9-month home salaries that were annualized earned salaries over the federal maximum. Using the modified formula, NSF would have saved over $222,000.

Seeking Increased Cost Sharing NSF’s policy is to request IPAs’ home institutions to voluntarily share at least 15 percent of salary and fringe benefit costs. Our 2013 audit found that NSF received cost share for 4 of 21 (19 percent) executive IPAs in 2012, with the rate at 15 percent for 3 IPAs and 7.5 percent for 1 IPA. During this review, we found that NSF received cost sharing for 10 of 27 (37 percent) executive IPAs in 2015, with the cost share rate at 15 percent for 5 IPAs and between 4 and 11 percent for 5 IPAs. Institutions provided $306,585 in cost sharing for IPAs in 2015, double the $150,714 that was provided in 2012. It is encouraging to see an increase in the number of institutions providing cost sharing, but given the fact that NSF did not receive any cost sharing for 17 executive IPAs, there is room for improvement.

Reviewing High Fringe Benefit Rates Our 2013 audit found that the average fringe benefit rate for permanent employees was 26 percent, while the average IPA fringe benefit rate was 30 percent. We also found that NSF generally did not know what individual components comprised an IPA’s fringe benefit amount. In response, NSF stated that its existing process is sufficient to ensure that the agency is paying only for benefits comparable to those paid to federal employees and stated that, because of the variety of approaches used by IPA home institutions, it is not efficient for NSF to review and question benefit computations.

During this review, we found that although the average executive IPA fringe benefit rate was 30 percent, NSF paid an average of $4,395 (7 percent) more in 2015 than 2012 per executive IPA in fringe benefits due to higher salaries.

Conclusion All three parties – NSF, IPAs and their home institutions – benefit from IPA assignments.

NSF gains new ideas and expertise from the research community, IPA assignees learn about NSF programs and the merit review process, and the IPAs’ home institutions benefit from the knowledge of, and experience with, NSF and its processes that IPAs bring back when they return.

Our follow-up review noted that the number of institutions cost sharing for executive IPAs and the dollar amount provided had increased, which is a step in the right direction toward reducing IPA cost. Nevertheless, we found that additional opportunities exist to reduce executive IPA cost. As IPA costs are paid from program funds, it is essential for NSF to examine the cost associated with its reliance on IPAs to ensure that federal funds entrusted to NSF are being spent effectively and efficiently.

Recommendation Particularly in light of both the number and costs of IPAs increasing since our 2013 recommendation, we reiterate our previous recommendation, which remains open, that the NSF take appropriate action to evaluate ways the cost of using IPAs can be reduced.

Agency Response and OIG Comments NSF agreed that it should continue to fully respond to our recommendation from the 2013 audit report and affirmed that it continues to explore alternatives to reduce IPA costs.

In its response, NSF noted that while our draft memorandum correctly stated that NSF paid one executive level IPA a salary less than a full annualization of the home salary, NSF did not use the modified formula to compute that salary. We confirmed that while NSF paid that IPA nearly $28,000 less than a full accrual of the IPA’s home salary, the salary was also $10,000 more than if NSF had used the modified formula. This final memorandum reflects this information.

We have included NSF’s response to the draft memorandum in its entirety as Attachment B.

Because the recommendation in this memorandum reiterates the recommendation from our 2013 audit report, we are not requesting an additional corrective action plan. In accordance with Office of Management and Budget Circular A-50, Audit Follow-up, we will continue to monitor implementation of NSF’s existing corrective action plan.

If you have any questions please contact me at 703-292-2985, or email at bmbaker@nsf.gov.

–  –  –

$440,165 $314,989 $306,667 $305,281 $301,247 $290,747 $291,093 $288,405 $284,295 $274,444 $263,315 $269,853 $255,947 $255,270 $254,380 $254,700 $252,000 $240,420 $244,606 $233,612 $236,112 $225,828 $229,589 $218,579 $214,209 $216,563 $207,787 $212,674 $203,840 $210,294 $195,653 $202,973 $190,000 $202,972 $183,901 $200,640 $174,451 $193,900 $165,733 $184,013 $178,933 $172,412 $140,128 $160,500 $107,066 $156,967 $155,956 $141,950 $4,574,285 $6,330,773 The median executive IPA salary paid by NSF for each year is highlighted in yellow.

–  –  –

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the OIG’s Official Draft of its Follow-Up Review of Cost Associated with NSF’s Use of Executive Level Intergovernmental Personnel Act Assignees, Report No.

16-6-001. We also acknowledge the earlier OIG report, Audit of Cost Associated with NSF’s Use of Intergovernmental Personnel Act Assignees, Report No. 13-2-008 (“Cost of IPA Audit”). We agree with the OIG that NSF should continue to fully respond to the OIG’s earlier recommendation arising from the Cost of the IPA Audit.

More specifically, NSF appreciates the OIG’s recognition of the increased number of institutions providing cost-sharing for IPAs. Indeed, under the Corrective Action Plan for the Cost of IPA Audit, NSF has engaged in outreach to institutions on the benefits of IPA program through the Federal Demonstration Partnership.

We respectfully note that, while the Official Draft’s table comparing costs of Executive Level IPAs in 2015 vs. 2012 includes many entries reporting the differences in numbers, amounts, and percentages, there is no normalization for the number of IPAs in 2015 vs. 2012. We believe that normalization would provide additional context to the data, thereby better informing NSF’s understanding of any changes in the cost of Executive Level IPAs and our efforts to reduce costs. 1 We affirm that NSF continues to explore alternatives to reduce IPA costs. We believe that such efforts should be consistent with promoting robust, active scientific leadership at the agency.

We appreciate the OIG’s focus on the issue of the Cost of IPAs. We look forward to completing our Corrective Action Plan under the Cost of IPA Audit.

–  –  –

Pages:   || 2 |

Similar works:

«http://www.mediaculture-online.de Autor: Theye, Thomas. Titel: Der geraubte Schatten Einführung. Quelle: Thomas Theye (Hrsg.): Der geraubte Schatten. Eine Weltreise im Spiegel der ethnographischen Photographie. München/Luzern 1989. S. 8-59. Verlag: C. J. Bucher Verlag. Die Veröffentlichung erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Autors. Thomas Theye Der geraubte Schatten – Einführung Die Vermehrung des Wissens durch die Fotografie Es hatte zu den Intentionen der frühen Fotografie...»

«Strategic choices for redistribution and the veil of ignorance: theory and experimental evidence Anke Gerber Andreas Nicklisch Stefan Voigt WiSo-HH Working Paper Series Working Paper No. 05 October2014 March 2013 WiSo-HH Working Paper Series Working Paper No. 05 March 2014 October 2013 Strategic choices for redistribution and the veil of ignorance: theory and experimental evidence Anke Gerber, Universität Hamburg Andreas Nicklisch, Universität Hamburg Stefan Voigt, Universität Hamburg ISSN...»

«ISRAEL aktuell 15. Dezember 2015 Wintersturm über Israel: Die Weisse Stadt Fotogalerie am Schluss des Textes Do. 12.12. Park bei Montefiores Windmühle Die Knesset, das israelische Parlament Wenn von Israels Weisser Stadt die Rede ist, denkt man an Tel Aviv mit seinen weissen, seit 2003 zum UNESCO-Welterbe gehörenden Gebäuden im Bauhaus-Stil. Diese Woche mutierte für einmal Jerusalem zur Weissen Stadt. Bereits am Sonntag (8.12.) liess der Israel Meteorological Service (IMS) wissen, dass...»

«AAP 72 (2002) • SWAHILI FORUM IX • 75-85 ROMAN CATHOLIC FAITH REPRES ENTED IN KEZILAHABI'S MZINGI LE SONJA MEZGER Summary This study elaborates how Kezilahabi depicts elements of Roman Catholic faith in his book Mzingile. Throughout the book religious institutions and the image of God are deconstmcted. Nevertheless, Kezilahabi uses images deJived from the Bible and Roman Catholic rituals to describe the new world order This leads to the conclusion that the recognition of the existence of...»

«Abion Spreebogen Waterside Hotel, Berlin Abstracts Symposium „Konzepte der Dermokosmetik – Probleme und Lösungen“ GD-Symposium am 13.11.2010 Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie W. Gehring Teil 1: Trockene Haut und Barrierefunktion Bedeutung von Feuchthaltesubstanzen für die epidermale Barrierefunktion Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang Gehring Hautklinik am Städt. Klinikum Karlsruhe GmbH Moltkestr. 120, D-76133 Karlsruhe Die epidermale Barrierefunktion und die Hornschichtfeuchtigkeit sind eng...»

«VA DEQ STORMWATER DESIGN SPECIFICATION INTRODUCTION: APPENDIX A: EARTHEN EMBANKMENT APPENDIX A EARTHEN EMBANKMENT VERSION 1.0 March 1, 2011 SECTION A-1: DESCRIPTION OF PRACTICE An earthen embankment is a raised impounding structure made from compacted soil. The embankment is the feature of pond-type practices that causes the impoundment of water. SECTION A-2: PERFORMANCE CRITERIA Not applicable Introduction: Appendix A: Earthen Embankments 1 of 19 Version 1.0, March 1, 2011 VA DEQ STORMWATER...»

«Gardens & Landscapes of Portugal Portuguese garden sculpture in the 17th and 18th centuries in the international context: an overview Ana Duarte Rodrigues Reference: Ana Duarte Rodrigues, “Portuguese garden sculpture in the 17th and 18th centuries in the international context: an overview”, Gardens & Landscapes of Portugal, CHAIA/CHAM/Mediterranean Garden Society, nr. 1 (May 2013), pp. 13-22. ISSN 2182-942X URL:...»


«A1 Anhang A Steineund Erden-Rohstoffe in NRW Geologische Vorkommen, Eigenschaften und Verwendung Begriffbestimmungen 1. Geologische Teilräume Nordrhein-Westfalen verfügt über ein breites natürliches Angebot an Steine-und-ErdenRohstoffen, die Verbreitung der verschiedenen Rohstoffe ist jedoch regional ungleichmäßig (Abb. 1). Während der geologische Bau primär das Rohstoffangebot bestimmt, kommt der Abb. 1 : Rohstoffübersicht Nordrhein-Westfalen der jeweiligen räumlichen Lage eines...»

«Az.: L 2 V 4/09 Az.: S14 V 29/05 SG Schleswig SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEINISCHES LANDESSOZIALGERICHT verkündet am 5. Juni 2012 Justizangestellte als Urkundsbeamtin der Geschäftsstelle IM NAMEN DES VOLKES URTEIL In dem Rechtsstreit _ Klägerin und Berufungsklägerin Prozessbevollmächtigte: _ gegen Land Schleswig-Holstein, vertreten durch das Landesamt für soziale Dienste SchleswigHolstein, Steinmetzstraße 1 11, 24534 Neumünster, _ Beklagter und Berufungsbeklagter beigeladen: Bundesrepublik...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.book.dislib.info - Free e-library - Books, dissertations, abstract

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.