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District Unveils Rules on Grants

District Unveils Rules on Grants

On December 30, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty ordered agencies in the District of Columbia to abide by new uniform rules on how to monitor grants used by nonprofit and private organizations. The order covers both city grants and city-disbursed federal grants. In the past months a Washington Post series has documented mismanagement of some grants to nonprofits distributed by the D.C. HIV/AIDS Administration.

Fenty and D.C. attorney general Peter Nickles announced the new rule book at a press conference, marking the first time a unified policy will apply to about 30 agencies and departments.

City agencies will have to competitively bid most grant proposals, with "sole source" contracts allowed under some circumstances. The mayor and city council can still direct earmarks to specific organizations, but recipients will operate under more aggressive oversight.

Grantees will have to "maintain records sufficient to detail the significant history of each award," and organizations will have to submit annual audits justifying expenditures. Recipients will also sign a sworn statement to abide by various other rules and regulations.

"You cannot have a government operating without clear standards, clear procedures for the granting of public dollars," says Fenty, "but that is what we've had in Washington, D.C."

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