Between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2013, HUD aimed to improve internal processes to ensure that it could obligate 90 percent of NOFA programs within 180 calendar days from budget passage, ensuring that America's neediest families have the shelter and services they need, when they need them. The timely obligation and subsequent disbursement of funds would positively impact the agency’s ability to achieve all of our priority goals.
HUD’s mission is to build strong, sustainable, inclusive communities, and quality affordable homes for all. In support of this mission, HUD aims to accelerate the obligation of grant funds directly by cutting down the time it takes to get through the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) process. The "NOFA process" refers to the steps that HUD takes to let grantees know that there is competitive funding available and to specify how the funds are to be used and to ultimately award funds. Before a NOFA can be posted on Grants.gov, it has to be cleared internally and by the Office of Management & Budget (OMB). After the NOFA is posted and the competition is closed, applications are scored and ultimately funds are awarded. Each year HUD awards $2-3 billion for community planning and development, public housing, housing counseling and family self-sufficiency.
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Standardizing and Streamlining Processes and Procedures:
The current Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) process is hindered by bottlenecks and delays. Standardizing and streamlining NOFA processes and procedures will address many of the known root causes including: the heavy reliance on institutional knowledge, the lack of process documentation, multiple layers of review and approval, and the lack of an effective procedure to resolve points of disagreement.
Improving Governance, Coordination, and Communication:
Congress, OMB, and HUD all contribute to the policies related to NOFA governance and development. While relevant HUD offices strive to promptly communicate updates or changes to the NOFA policies and procedures, the primary means of communication are still primarily in person or by email. This creates undue errors, oversights, and inefficiencies. The development of a more effective means to communicate, educate, and collaborate is essential.
Automating Workflow Tracking and Processes:
Currently, none of the NOFA processes are automated. Workflows, notifications and tracking are managed by various individuals using their personal Excel and PowerPoint files. This makes the processing and tracking of NOFAs unduly cumbersome and subject to error. It also hinders management’s visibility into the process and status, impeding appropriate oversight. HUD is evaluating alternatives to automate workflows, provide improved document control, and improve NOFA tracking.
MEASURING OUR PROGRESS
HUD has tracked progress in the obligation of NOFA programs as follows:
|FY 2013 Agency Financial Report|
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