In-depth monitoring seeks to closely examine whether performance or compliance problems exist and identify the aspects of the program or project that are contributing to the adverse situation. The PJ may use a risk factor analysis or alternative method to target certain HOME Program areas or organizations for in-depth monitoring each year.
In-depth reviews include all the activities of a desk review, but add an on-site visit to the program or project to gather specific information and observe actual program elements. Using the monitoring checklists available on the HOME Front can help structure the on-site review.
During an on-site review, monitoring staff:
- Identify aspects of the program or project where the organization is performing well and poorly;
- Assess compliance with program requirements;
- Determine whether record keeping is adequate;Prepare a report summarizing the results of the review; and
- Describe any required follow-up activity.
Scheduling and Notification
PJ monitoring staff should contact the entity being monitored at least two weeks prior to the planned date of the on-site visit in order to schedule the monitoring review. Once the entity has been contacted and the actual dates are scheduled, monitoring staff should send a letter to the entity that confirms:
- The date and time of the visit;
- The names of the PJ staff conducting the site visit;
- The elements of the program or project that will be monitored;
- The files and records that will be reviewed;and
- The members of the organization who should be available for interviews.
Before conducting the on-site visit, PJ monitoring staff should review the organization's:
- HOME application(s) and executed HOME Agreements;
- Recent status reports;
- Financial reports;
- Any previous correspondence; and
- Reports from past on-site monitoring reviews.
These items should be reviewed to:
- Assess progress;
- Examine changes in activities;
- Identify existing or potential problems; and
- Determine the elements of the HOME project to be given priority during the on-site review
PJ monitoring staff should gather information from a variety of sources and complete the following steps during the on-site review.
- Conduct an initial meeting with the executive director, program director, or other official to explain the purpose and schedule for the review;
- Interview members of the organization's staff to gather information about activities and performance;
- Review additional materials provided by the entity to obtain more detailed information about the program or project;
- Examine a sampling of files to verify the existence of required documentation and the accuracy of reports being sent to the PJ;
- Visit a sampling of program sites (or the project itself) to confirm information contained in program files; this may also include interviewing residents;
- Meet with local lending or other partners (if applicable); and
- Conduct an exit conference with appropriate senior staff to discuss the preliminary conclusions of the review and identify any follow-up actions necessary.
Completion of the Site Visit
After visiting the project site, PJ monitoring staff should complete the following steps:
- Properly record the results of the review.
- Fill out all applicable checklists and document with clear notes.
- Attach to the checklists all documentation required to support conclusions from the review.
- Place the checklists and documentation in the HOME monitoring file for that organization.
- Meet with PJ program staff to review the findings of the monitoring visit and agree on a course of action.
Responsibility can then be assigned for following up on the review, depending on the nature of the findings.