Program Letter 16-3

Procurement Policy Drafting Guidance for LSC Recipients
To:  All Executive Directors
From:  James J. Sandman, President 

Introduction

LSC is issuing this Program Letter to provide resources to recipients in light of the report issued by LSC’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) on December 3, 2015. In the “Compendium of Internal Control Audit Findings & Recommendations from Reports Issued October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2015,” OIG stated that it had made 24 recommendations to recipients related to contracting during the period in question. OIG identified five areas in which recipients’ policies would benefit from increased attention: supporting documentation; ensuring the existence of a formal contract; adherence to the recipient’s written policies; competitive bidding; and cross-training of recipient staff who are involved in the contracting process. OIG made most of its recommendations in the areas of supporting documentation, ensuring formation of formal contracts, and adherence to written contracting policies.

LSC generally prescribes the policies and procedures that recipients must establish to procure goods and services for their programs. The requirements for procurement policies and procedures are primarily set forth in:

  • LSC’s Accounting Guide
  • 45 C.F.R. Part 1630
  • Property Acquisition and Management Manual (PAMM)

Other related requirements may be found in the Grant Assurances pertaining to Basic Field Grants, Technology Initiative Grants, and Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants. LSC recognizes, however, that no one approach to procurement is optimal for all recipients and allows recipients flexibility to design policies within the framework established by the Accounting Guide, Part 1630, and the PAMM.

Purpose of This Guidance

In light of the procurement-related findings issued by the OIG in its December, 2015 report, LSC believes it is appropriate to provide information to recipients about developing effective procurement policies. The attached guidance reflects LSC’s experience with procurement policy development and focuses on the areas of competition, supporting documentation, and adherence to the recipient’s written policies. It is intended to inform recipients about the elements of an effective procurement policy and to provide suggestions about elements recipients may want to include in their policies. This Program Letter does not create new requirements with which recipients’ procurement policies must comply.

If you have any questions about the attached guidance, please contact Dan Temme, Deputy Director for Fiscal Compliance, Office of Compliance and Enforcement, at 202-295-1539 or temmed@lsc.gov.

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