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2012 07 09 - HHS IG

2012 07 09 - HHS IG

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Published by Lachlan Markay
Letter from the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General to Sen. Susan Collins.
Letter from the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General to Sen. Susan Collins.

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Lachlan Markay on Jul 10, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2012

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TO:FROM:SUBJECT:
DEPARTMENT OF
HEALTH
A.1'JD
HUMAl'J"
SERVICES
OFFICE OF
INSPECTOR
GENERAL
WA
SHl:\"GTON, DC 20201
JUN
29
201l
Thomas
R.
Frieden, MD, MPHDirectorCenters for Disease Control and PreventionDaniel
R.
LevinsonInspector GeneralCommunities Putting Prevention to Work --EARLY ALERTThe Office
of
Inspector General (OIG) received allegations from congressional
staff
concerningpotentially inappropriate uses
of
funds
by
grantees under the Communities Putting Prevention
to
Work (CPPW) program. Specifically, those allegations indicated that grantees
may
haveviolated a series
of
anti-lobbying statutes. In response to this information, OIG reviewedquarterly reports submitted
by
CPPW grantees and posted
to
the Recovery.gov Web site,researched applicable law and met with officials
of
the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC), the CPPW program, and the Office
of
the General Counsel.
We
areconcerned that some statements in those reports
may
reflect inappropriate lobbying activitiesusing CPPW grant funds. Our review also indicated that this may have originated from a lack
of
clear guidance -
or
even conflicting information -from CDC to CPPW grantees concerning theanti-lobbying restrictions.We propose that CDC:review its guidance and other materials posted
on
its Web site,• clarify
any
misleading statements about lobbying activities by grantees under thisprogram,• train
CDC
employees, as necessary, andprovide updated and more detailed guidance to grantees describing how to avoidviolating these statutory provisions. Such guidance should also advise granteesconcerning new restrictions on lobbying contained in the FY 2012 HHS appropriations.Additionally, OIG plans to review CDC grants to reduce chronic disease and promote healthylifestyles funded with money subject to the lobbying prohibitions contained in the FY 2012 HHS
 
Page 2 -Dr. Thomas
R.
Friedenappropriation.
We
also will evaluate HHS oversight
of
lobbying prohibitions in FY 2012.Additional details are provided in the attachment to this memorandum.Attachmentcc: Nancy Gunderson, ASFRIOGAP AEdward
L.
Hunter, CDCEllen Murray, ASFRDeborah Tress, OGC/PH Div.Joanna Stettner, OGC/PH Div.Edgar Swindell, OGC/Ethics Div.
 
SummaryCommunities Putting Prevention
to
WorkEarly Alert
The Office
of
Inspector General (OIG) received allegations from congressional staff concerningpotentially inappropriate uses
of
funds
by
grantees under the Communities Putting Prevention toWork (CPPW) program. Specifically, those allegations indicated that grantees
may
haveviolated a series
of
anti-lobbying statutes. In response to this information, OIG has reviewedquarterly reports submitted by CPPW grantees that were posted
to
the Recovery.gov Web site,researched applicable law, and met with officials
ofthe
Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC), the CPPW program, and the Office
of
the General Counsel.
We
areconcerned that some statements in those reports
may
reflect inappropriate lobbying activitiesusing CPPW grant funds. Our review also indicated that this may have originated from a lack
of
clear guidance -
or
even conflicting information -from CDC
to
CPPW grantees concerning theanti-lobbying restrictions.
Background and Analysis
CPPW is a CDC initiative authorized by
§§
311 and 317(k)(2)
of
the Public Health Service Act(42 U.S.C.
§§
243 and 247b(k)(2)) and funded through the American Recovery andReinvestment Act
of2009
(ARRA) and most recently through the Affordable Care Act. CPPWgrants focus on prevention
of
chronic diseases, and are intended
to
support community efforts toincrease physical activity, improvenutrition, and decrease obesity and smoking. The CPPWgrant announcement solicited applications in the last quarter of2009; CDC awards were made in2010 and support 50 communities throughout the U.S. The CDC Web site includes an OnlineResource Center with tools describing how grant funds can be used to accomplish the objectives
of
the grant.
AR
RA grantees report quarterly to CDC on the use
ofCPPW
grant funds, and thesereports are posted on Recovery.gov.Numerous anti-lobbying provisions have created a complicated web
of
restrictions with whichCPPW grantees must comply. Very generally, those are:
18
U.S.C. § 1913 prohibits the use
of
Federal funds to lobby unless expressly authorized
by
law.
It
provides, in pertinent part, that no Federal funds may be used directly
or
indirectly "to influence in any manner a Member
of
Congress, a jurisdiction, or anofficial
of
any government,
to
favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, anylegislation, law, ratification, policy or appropriation, whether before or after theintroduction
of
any bill, measure, or resolution proposing such legislation, law,ratification, policy or appropriation
....
" Significant amendments were made to thisprovision in 2002, most significantly substituting civil for criminal penalties. There hasbeen no definitive ruling by the Office
of
Legal Counsel, Department
of
Justice,
or by
the

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