Office of Acquisition, Grants, and Risk Management

Functional Statements > Office of Finance and Operations

The Office of Acquisition, Grants, and Risk Management (OAGRM) is responsible for developing, managing, and providing policy guidance and oversight of the Department's acquisition, grants, and risk management activities and operations. OAGRM enhances ED's mission operations by building an end-to-end lifecycle framework for ED's financial assistance activities including policy development and oversight, workforce development, business systems and processes, supply chain management, contract execution, and risk management. OAGRM provides leadership and enterprise-wide services strategically focused on driving behavior changes, implementing innovative solutions and delivering better outcomes through data analytics, enterprise risk management, and program management improvement. OAGRM leads and provides direction in the areas of discretionary and formula grant policy, internal control assessment for grants, grant management training, grant risk management including pre and post single audit resolution, technical assistance and coordination, and indirect cost negotiations.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Acquisition, Grants, and Risk Management (DAS-OAGRM) serves as the Deputy Chief Acquisition Officer and Senior Procurement Executive (DCAO & SPE) and reports directly to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Finance and Operations.  The DAS-OAGRM also serves as the accountable official for supply chain risk management, implementing strategies to improve program management, designating high risk grantees for the Department, and imposing and managing enforcement of non-procurement debarments and suspensions.

The DAS-OAGRM provides overall leadership and coordination to the following six components:

  • Strategic Acquisition Management Initiatives (SAMI) Division
  • Contracts and Acquisitions Management (CAM) Division
  • Grants Management Policy Division (GMPD)
  • Indirect Cost Division (ICD)
  • Grants Risk Management Services Division (GRMSD)
  • Enterprise Data Analytics and Risk Management (EDARM) Division

Strategic Acquisition Management Initiatives (SAMI) Division

SAMI is responsible for providing leadership and direction in acquisition and program management policies, strategies, and initiatives to improve acquisition and program outcomes.

In carrying out its responsibilities, SAMI provides the following functional activities:

  • Acquisition and Program Management Policy – Building on federal mandates and regulatory guidance to develop and manage acquisition and program management policy for the Department -- ensuring compliance, driving behavior changes, and implementing innovative solutions for improved program performance.
  • Business Systems – Managing the collection and exchange of acquisition data using technology to create transparency, accountability, and acquisition lifecycle reform -- leading to supportable data-based decisions and improvements in the exchange of information between the government and the public.
  • Acquisition Supply Chain Management - Providing support and monitoring the performance of ED acquisition activities related to various federal initiatives, and conducting oversight and internal control reviews of the acquisition function in accordance with OMB Circular A-123 specific to acquisition.
  • Workforce Development - Building, enabling, and sustaining a knowledgeable workforce that can execute on the acquisition and program management business needs of the Department.

Contracts and Acquisitions Management (CAM) Division

CAM is responsible for contract execution (solicitation, award, administration, and closeout of all contracts) and other acquisition instruments for the Department including the ten Regional Offices, but excluding FSA. CAM's mission is to proactively lead the acquisition process, planning, negotiating, awarding and administering contracts, advancing the Department's mission to serve America's students.

In carrying out its responsibilities, the Immediate Office:

  • Supports ED's socioeconomic goals through advocacy for appropriate use of small business prime and sub-contracting authorities, within applicable Federal and Departmental laws, regulations, guidelines and procedures.
  • Advocates for adequate competition in procurements throughout the Department.

The Director, CAM, is the Head of Contracting Activity (HCA).  The Director is responsible for the overall management of the CAM's procurement functions and provides leadership and coordination to the immediate office staff and to the following components:

  • Program Contracts Group
  • Operations Contracts Group
  • Education Sciences Contracts Group
  • Performance and Logistics Group

Each of the Contracting groups provide contracting and acquisition support to designated client offices and has the identical functions.  Each operational group is led by a Group Manager that also serve as the Chief of the Contracting Office (COCO).

In carrying out its responsibilities, each group:

  • Develops acquisition plans in conjunction with program offices and advises clients on the preparation of requirement descriptions (statements of work), contractor performance measures, evaluation criteria and other aspects of the procurement process.
  • Prepares and issues acquisition solicitations, reviews incoming proposals and bids for conformity with requirements, and advises program offices in the evaluation of these materials.
  • Negotiates with offerors, performs pre-award reviews as necessary to assess the technical and business management capacity of offerors, makes source selection decisions, and awards contracts and other acquisition instruments and debriefs offerors.
  • Administers acquisition instruments including monitoring, providing assistance, reviewing and accepting interim and final deliverables and reports, reviewing and approving payments, assessing overall contract performance, reviewing and approving modifications, executing terminations as necessary, and closing out contracts.

Program Contracts Group (PCG)

PCG supports the Department's non-support, program-based offices as well as the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).  These offices include Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development (OPEPD), Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).  Within IES, PCG supports the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE).  NCEE is one of four centers in IES, and they help educators and policymakers make informed decisions about education programs through the work of its Knowledge Utilization and Evaluation divisions.

Operations Contracts Group (OCG)

OCG supports the cybersecurity initiatives of the Department. OCG play a vital role in protecting the Department's data and systems from cyber threats.  Our contracts provide helpdesk support services for all the enterprise systems that are used by every principal office.  These offices include: Office of the Secretary (OS), Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of the General Counsel (OGC), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Office of Communications and Outreach, and the Office of Finance and Operations (OFO).  In addition, OCG participates and provides leadership in other Federal acquisition initiatives such as strategic sourcing and category management. Through our involvement, we help ensure that the Department's interests are protected while providing guidance to our customers on how to best implement these important initiatives that are designed to help the Department save money and increase efficiency.

Education Sciences Contracts Group (ESCG)

ESCG supports the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). ESCG supports three of the four operational divisions of IES: The National Center for Education Research, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the National Center for Special Education Research. ESCG is responsible for contract lifecycle related to the following Department programs: The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the Education Statistics Support Institute Network (ESSIN) and all longitudinal surveys within NCES, in addition to supporting Director initiatives across IES.

Performance and Logistics Group (PLG)

PLG provides support internally to the Director of CAM and other CAM staff, and externally to the Department's principal offices. In carrying out its duties, the Group:

  • Acquisition Procedures – Develops, recommends, establishes, implements, and maintains CAM's acquisition procedures and procurement performance measures, consistent with applicable Federal and Departmental laws, regulations, guidelines and policies; prepares, publishes, and controls guides, handbooks, brochures, internet web site content and other materials governing CAM's acquisition processes; provides guidance to CAM on acquisition-related policies issued by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget, and other authorities.
  • Workload Management – Administers CAM's Acquisition Planning Process.
  • Systems Reporting and Data Analysis – Maintains the electronic contract data requirements for agency automated management systems and preparing internal and external procurement performance reports; coordinates electronic commerce activities for CAM contracts and acquisitions.
  • Oversight and compliance – Conducts internal reviews of CAM's acquisition activities; administers contract closeout activities; reviews CAM solicitations and pre-award contract documents for compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and other applicable regulations and statutes.
  • Acquisition Workforce – Administers the certification programs for Acquisition Professionals in CAM's customer offices (i.e., contracting officers and Contracting officer's representatives).
  • Government Purchase Card Program – Administers the Department's Government purchase card program.

Grants Management Policy Division (GMPD)

The Grants Management Policy Division (GMPD) is responsible for the oversight of the Department's grant award and administration processes in order to ensure consistency and accountability and promote effectiveness.  GMPD develops and disseminates ED grants management and administration policies, regulations, and procedures, as well as provides leadership and support for reform, innovation and improvement in ED grants management.  In addition, GMPD provides training and resources to build staff capacity to manage and monitor grants.  In carrying out its functions, GMPD:

  • Works with all components of the Department to develop and implement Department-wide grant policies and procedures for the administration and management of formula and discretionary grants and cooperative agreements and to promote grantee accountability and results.
  • Coordinates the development of ED policies and positions regarding government-wide grants management and streamlining initiatives.
  • Researches current and innovative grants management practices in order to design and develop new models for improving the grants process in the Department.
  • Provides grants management training to grant staff to build their capacity to manage and monitor grants. Ensures accurate and useful information on ED grant requirements is developed and effectively communicated to ED grantees through training and on the web.
  • Provides a centralized platform for staff to access policies, information, tools, and resources related to grants management. 
  • Orchestrates and provides regular forums for grants staff to discuss grants policy updates, upcoming training opportunities, and new/upcoming products and services.  Incorporates cross-cutting grants management questions and concerns from ED staff during the forum to facilitate input and sharing of promising practices among the grant making POCs.
  • Collaborates with OCIO on the design and development of a new Grants Management System or enhancements to the Department's current system to ensure the system supports compliance with the Department's formula and discretionary grants policy and processes.
  • Serves as Grants Policy Liaisons providing technical assistance and the primary point of contact for questions generated from program offices related to grant administration policy, guidance, and procedures.
  • Manages Discretionary Grant Licenses and Formula award obligation authority.
  • Manages the uniform system of non-procurement debarment and suspension to ensure the integrity of ED programs.

Indirect Cost Division (ICD)

The Indirect Cost Division (ICD) is responsible for developing, implementing and managing the Department's indirect cost policy in accordance with regulations issued by OMB Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards under 2 CFR 200 and Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) for the applicable entity under review.  In carrying out its responsibilities, ICD:

  • Negotiates and establishes indirect cost rates on behalf of the Federal Government for all State Educational Agencies and negotiates and establishes indirect cost rates for other State agencies where the Department holds a predominant financial interest.
  • Negotiates and establishes indirect cost rates on behalf of the Federal Government for Institutions of Higher Education, nonprofits, and commercial firms where the Department holds a predominant financial interest.
  • Negotiates and settles liabilities resulting from excessive indirect cost reimbursement, resolves and closes audits on indirect cost issues, and administers any related appeals.
  • Provides technical advice to external and internal customers on cost allocation issues under grants and contracts.
  • Serves as the Department's liaison with OMB on fulfilling the cognizant agency responsibilities for cost policy and oversight.
  • Oversees the program where States may receive delegations of authority to administer indirect cost oversight for their Local Educational Agencies.
  • Develops and implements indirect cost policy.

Grants Risk Management Services Division (GRMSD)

The Grants Risk Management Services Division (GRMSD) is responsible for coordinating with the Department's Principal Offices in identifying grantee risks and taking effective action to manage and mitigate risks that may adversely affect the advancement of the Department's mission and programs.  The GRMSD provides oversight, technical assistance, and high-risk grantee assessment and support to the Department's program offices.  The staff works with program offices as requested to identify risk strategies and treatments to inform grant awards, grant monitoring plans and strategies, and corrective actions.

Additionally, GRMSD is responsible for policy development, implementation and oversight for the Department's response to the Inspector General Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-504) and OMB Circular A-50, Audit Follow-up; Single Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations. GRMSD has overall responsibility for the external audit follow-up function at the Department. GRMSD resolves and closes grantee Single Audit findings of the Department's discretionary grant programs, as well as various formula grant audit findings, in accordance with OMB Uniform Guidance requirements.

In performing its responsibilities, the staff performs the following high-level activities:

  • Provides technical support to the Department's program offices with customized pre-monitoring grantee risk analysis.
  • Oversees external audit follow-up for the Department and serves as the central point in the Department for information regarding external audit follow-up.
  • Conducts risk briefings on selected states and districts to provide program offices with risk assessments (i.e., overall fiscal status and climate, potential and emerging audit issues, and other related information.)
  • Resolves and closes discretionary grant findings in single audits and OIG external audit reports, as well as formula grant findings that deal with cash management and sub-recipient monitoring.
  • Applies criteria and rubrics to drive the investment of resources around high-risk grantees to support targeted efforts that lead to demonstrable outcomes.
  • Identifies the Department's grantees that failed to submit a single audit to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse (FAC) and notifies program offices. Works with the FAC to process and assign audit findings received on a weekly basis and the overall management of the Department's interagency agreement with the FAC.
  • Conducts internal reviews and reports on program office closure of single audits and ED-OIG external audits.
  • Analyzes audit data and provides results to ED program offices to inform work around program risk, audit finding trends, priorities and strategies for effective grant management responsibilities.  
  • Coordinates the Semi-Annual Report (SAR) to Congress on audit follow-up.
  • Supports program offices in the development of risk profiles for selected States, districts and non-profit entities.
  • Oversees revisions and management of Handbook for the Post Audit Process of external audits.
  • Annually coordinates and updates the Department's compliance supplement submission to OMB, which serves as a guide for auditors reviewing Department grants.

Enterprise Data Analytics and Risk Management (EDARM) Division

The Enterprise Data Analytics and Risk Management (EDARM) Division is responsible for delivering analytical insights that inform enterprise risk management and driving operational excellence to optimize agency performance.  To achieve this mission, EDARM: 

  • Creates and leads a culture at the Department that recognizes enterprise risk management and internal control integration activities as opportunities to generate value through continuous process improvement;
  • Provides stakeholders with actionable insights powered by data analytics to leverage risk information to improve the Department's operations and business processes;
  • Facilitates alignment of the Department's strategic and operational processes, ensuring allocation of necessary resources by providing cross-cutting consultative support to identify and connect key components of currently siloed work; and
  • Promotes sustainable, strategic management of the Department's business operations by building capacity for interpreting and utilizing data.

EDARM is a customer service office—serving OFO leaders and service areas internally, as well as the entire Department—with a team of content, functional, and technical experts charged with examining the critically interconnected nature of the Department's work using an enterprise-wide lens to ensure there is coordination across processes, systems, programs, and operations.  Working in flexible, dynamic, project-focused teams, EDARM leverages the power of collaboration to enhance the Department's key management and operational processes.

Applying comprehensive knowledge of the Department's programs and operations, the EDARM team provides strategic consultation to partners across the agency.  Utilizing foundational data from ED's management, budget, financial, and human capital systems along with wide-ranging business knowledge and analytical tools, the office conducts high quality operational and performance risk analyses based on real-time conditions.  EDARM's comprehensive analyses provide Senior Leaders with the information needed to objectively assess functions and performance; as a result, management can take the requisite steps to ensure enterprise decisions (e.g., grants management processes, budget requests, resource allocations) increase the value of operational activities while reducing the risk of costly inefficiencies.

The work of EDARM supports a future state where the Department embraces a culture of continuous improvement, where data and awareness of risk are used to objectively inform strategic and operational decisions. The forward-looking approach to problem solving combines several focus areas, including, but not limited to: 1) Enterprise Risk Management; 2) Operational Internal Controls; and 3) Modeling, Integrated Data Analysis, and Technical Assistance.  While these areas of focus are complementary, each independently applies a different lens to the use of data and analytical evaluations to inform EDARM's comprehensive and innovative solutions for its partners. 

In carrying out these responsibilities, the EDARM staff's work includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Administering all aspects of the Department's Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program, as required by OMB Circulars A-123 and A-11 (i.e., identifying, assessing, monitoring, and managing enterprise risks, including management challenges and high-risk areas identified by the Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office).
  • Supporting the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Finance and Operations by leading, convening, and facilitating meetings of the Department's Enterprise Risk Management Working Group (ERMWG) and other related working groups to ensure strategic collaborations that contribute to the overall governance of enterprise risk management and internal control in the Department.
  • Performing integrated analysis and evaluation of enterprise risk data, linking ED's programmatic and operational management and performance. 
  • Ensuring alignment of the agency's risk profile with the Department's Strategic Plan and Learning Agenda, and integration with significant management processes (e.g., Performance Management, Budget Formulation) through collaboration with key partners (e.g., the Performance Improvement Office, Evaluation Official, Budget Director, Senior Management Council).
  • Monitoring business operations and initiating independent studies and analyses, supported by advanced statistics, to develop deep knowledge bases for areas of need to provide recommendations and/or inform solutions that support cross-functional improvements to operational and business processes.  
  • Performing targeted internal controls testing on prioritized, key processes to evaluate and strengthen existing operational processes (e.g., human capital processes, grants management). 
  • Coordinating and collaborating with the Financial Data Integrity & Controls Division to integrate financial and operational internal controls and ensure alignment with ERM.
  • Managing the Department's Administrative Communications System (ACS) to develop, maintain, and ensure that directives and handbooks delineating Department policies, procedures, requirements, and other important information of general applicability are strategic, coordinated, comprehensive, and standardized to support mission achievement and risk mitigation.
  • Performing comprehensive data analyses and developing and disseminating reports and dashboards to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Assistant Secretaries, and other career and political leaders to inform key enterprise decision-making.
  • Researching, developing, and supporting the development of innovative models, services and tools to implement improvements in enterprise business area functions, focusing on the development of functional business logic and maintaining an integrated, interactive, analyst-grade, data dictionary for business analytics.
  • Collaborating with POCs to develop tools, processes, and analytical insights that enable them to better leverage their operational data and business processes in new and useful ways.
  • Supporting and executing the organization and cultural aspects of digital service development across the Department, including the collection and prioritization of user requirements. 
  • Managing all aspects of the technical development, operations, and management of Edison platform tools and analytics to support the diverse needs (e.g., assessment of grantee risk, submission of Entity Risk Reviews) of users across the Department through continuous evaluation and iterative development.
  • Performing quality management, configuration management and access management roles to ensure applications adhere to applicable IT security standards.
  • Providing cross-cutting consultative support to all OFO service areas and across the Department to identify and connect key components of currently siloed work, build capacity for interpreting and utilizing data, and maximize existing resources through consultative projects and initiatives.
  • Providing targeted technical assistance to build customer capacity for accessing, interpreting, and using business and operational data, tools, and identify best practices to address specific requests and strategic needs of internal stakeholders.
  • Providing trainings and disseminating resources to support the Department in strengthening internal control and enterprise risk management processes.​


Last Modified: 04/20/2023