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NFS Suspension of Grants for the University of Puerto Rico System

NFS Suspension of Grants for the University of Puerto Rico System

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Published by: Dania Warhol on Mar 12, 2013
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02/20/2014

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NFS Suspension of Grants for the University of Puerto Rico System
There is a situation affecting National Science Foundation (NSF) grants awarded to the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), and eligibility of UPR to compete for future awards. Grants for active projects andeligibility to compete for future grants are at risk.Two years ago the NSF made a routine site visit to UPR to evaluate and inspect financial controlmeasures in place at UPR. The NSF team found significant shortcomings and as result a CorrectiveAction Plan (CAP) was prepared by UPR and submitted to the NSF. The NSF accepted this CorrectiveAction Plan (CAP) on February 3, 2011, and has been periodically monitoring its implementation.On April 23, 2012, the NSF determined that UPR failed to make the agreed upon corrections detailed inthe CAP. Because of inadequate grant time and effort reporting systems put in place at UPR, NSFdecided to indefinitely suspend all awards and grants to Central Administration and the MayagüezCampus (UPRM). The NSF gave the UPR Administration a period of 60 days from the date of thisnotification
 — 
which lapsed on June 22, 2012
 — 
to prove that implementation of the CAP was on schedule. NSF stated if it did not receive satisfactory proof of CAP implementation by the deadline, it would moveto a full termination of all grants.Dr. Muñoz subsequently requested an extension, which the NSF granted on June 21, 2012. The NSFstated at the time of the extension that it would give UPR an additional opportunity to demonstrate itsimplementation of a compliant time and effort system for the fall 2012 academic period.The NSF advises UPR it must respond to the following deficiencies found in the documentation previously submitted:
 
Inability to determine if institutional base salaries (IBS) were established before the new systemswere put in place; and
 
Existence of significant timing inconsistencies between the execution of effort and the billingsubmitted to the NSF.
 
These financial accounting standards NSF requires be adopted by all grantees are derived from OMBCircular A-21:
Cost Principles for Educational Institutions
of May 24, 2004.Provided the documentation and explanations are found to satisfy all outstanding issues, the NSF willconduct a site visit in early 2013 to complete the process and return UPR to the normal grant status. If issues remain unresolved, then the NSF will suspend the ability of UPR to compete for future grants andalso stop payment on grant projects in progress.There are currently 72 NSF-funded projects in progress across the UPR system amounting to a total valueof $100.7 million in NSF grants. Seven of these projects valued at $16.8 million are being administered by Central Administration; 25 others valued at $13.4 million are being administered by UPRM. There is

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