The Public Policy & Infrastructure practice has often discussed the availability of unused or “returned” grant funds. This means that often not all grant funds are fully obligated (or obligated at all because of various problems in the award process); some grant amounts must also be “returned” because of eligibility and allowability decisions, and for audit-based decisions (often by federal inspector generals). The potential availability of these funds is often not publicized. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), however, shines a spotlight on them as part of a greater oversight report from his office that finds more than $70 billion available in unspent federal funds. Sources of these funds range from expired and inactive grant accounts to unused or unclaimed funds remaining at the programmatic level. As Fiscal Year 2012 draws to a close, federal agencies will work hard to spend these un-obligated balances remaining on their books. Opportunities may be available, however, to seek to access such funds.

For a more detailed analysis, please click here to read the issued Client Alert.