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Section 2: Ongoing Monitoring

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Introduction

Ongoing monitoring occurs in the ordinary course of operations and includes regular management and supervisory activities and other actions personnel take in performing their duties that assess the quality of internal controls and system performance.

Ongoing monitoring occurs every time a project manager (for district-managed projects) or program manager (for state-managed projects) holds a discussion or communicates with a subgrantee project director about the project and its performance.

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Frequency

Ongoing monitoring can occur daily, weekly, or monthly. Weekly phone calls may be appropriate if there are problems. Monthly status meetings might be needed for complex projects or those with significant problems. Written correspondence, including e-mails, should address routine matters, unless problems are encountered. Quarterly review meetings between the subgrantee and the project or program manager are required.

The subgrantee’s project director should monitor work under the grant agreement with sufficient frequency to be sure that the work is progressing according to the action plan and with sufficient frequency to quickly identify any major problems or variances from the plan. Careful monitoring of work is the best method of assuring compliance with the grant agreement and preventing disputes.

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Items

Any item related to the progress and management of the grant might be covered in ongoing monitoring. Although usually limited to the progress of activities, ongoing monitoring should also cover the timely submission of complete and correct reports and required documentation, budget issues, overruns or underruns, problems encountered, procurement procedures, projected changes, the need for any amendments, best practices, etc.

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Procedures

The project or program manager should:

  • routinely set aside time to call or meet with subgrantee personnel,
  • make a list of issues or questions to cover prior to the contact, and
  • ensure that all issues are covered and that a deadline has been agreed upon to resolve any issues.

Documentation of these contacts, such as notes or e-mails, should be kept in the files and made available for monitoring. Notes or e-mails can also be documented through the submission of On-going Monitoring Reports through the Traffic Safety Electronic Grants Management System (eGrants). See the subheading “ Documentation” below. Each grant agreement includes a provision that the subgrantee will arrange meetings with the project or program manager, at least quarterly, to present the status of activities, discuss problems, and present a schedule of activities for the following quarter’s work.

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Participants

Ongoing monitoring should involve grant personnel with management or oversight responsibility for the project. In addition to the project director, this would include a financial officer, possibly an agency grants manager, and any other key project personnel.

Each Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) district has an internal review analyst (IRA) who works for the district engineer and is trained to monitor and audit grants. This person is an excellent resource who can assist the district project manager and provide guidance on laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.

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Documentation

Originals of all checklists, reports, and correspondence are to be documented in the eGrants file of record hosted by the Traffic Operations Division - Traffic Safety Section (TRF-TS). A note to the file should be provided to document meetings and discussions. This documentation becomes important during the course of the project in case of changes in the project activities, budget, or grant personnel. The documentation is also important at the end of the project, since it is used to evaluate project and subgrantee performance.

To document on-going subgrantee monitoring activities, program and project managers should create and submit an On-going Monitoring Report in eGrants. The subgrantee monitoring reports can be found by viewing a subgrantee’s grant in eGrants. “Subgrantee Monitoring” can be found under “Examine Related Items.” The procedures for completing the on-going monitoring report are:

  • Initiate a Subgrantee On-Going Monitoring Report.
  • Select “I Agree” when prompted “Are you sure you want to create a new Subgrantee Monitoring Report?”
  • Click on “View Forms” under the “View, Edit and Complete” section of the grant.
  • Complete and save the On-Going Subgrantee Monitoring Form.
  • Add additional information and/or attachments if necessary by opening and completing the applicable “Attachments” form page.
  • Once the report is submitted, Change the status of the On-going Subgrantee Monitoring Report to “Subgrantee Monitoring Submitted” by going to the “Change the Status” section.

NOTE: Once the status has been changed to “Subgrantee Monitoring Submitted”, the subgrantee will be able to view the monitoring reports.

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