Stewardship & Compliance

LSC is committed to strong management of and accountability for federal funds. As a grant-making agency LSC has adopted rigorous oversight, enforcement, and training to promote grantees' compliance with all requirements and restrictions Congress has enacted. 

LSC routinely works with its grantees to maximize their efficiency, effectiveness, and quality; to promote innovation in the delivery of legal services; and to serve as many constituents as possible. Enhanced oversight and training helps ensure that LSC funds are well managed and efficiently spent to provide civil legal assistance to clients and to help grantees improve effectiveness.

More than 50% of LSC’s administrative resources are devoted to ensuring that grantees provide high-quality legal services and comply with all federal laws and regulations.  Experts at LSC conduct on-site program visits. On average, one-third of grantees are visited each year. LSC offices that conduct oversight include the Office of Program Performance and the Office of Compliance and Enforcement.

Emphasis on Compliance

The Office of Program Performance (OPP) has primary responsibility for administering the competitive grants application and awards process, sharing best practices for providing high-quality civil legal service, and promoting innovative uses of technology by grantees. 

OPP promotes LSC’s Performance Criteria; recommends special grant conditions and grant assurances with respect to program quality and reviews grantee compliance; identifies the need for communicating policy through program letters; visits grantees to assess program quality; maintains and promotes best practices summaries for legal services providers; promotes the innovative uses of technology by grantees; and as part of the application and grants oversight process collects data from programs on their performance.

The Office of Compliance and Enforcement (OCE) has primary responsibility for monitoring grantee compliance with the LSC Act, regulations, and funding restrictions. OCE also enforces LSC’s Accounting Guide; conducts oversight reviews regarding compliance with the LSC Act and other LSC guidance, including fiscal-related regulations; initiates questioned-cost proceedings; identifies required corrective actions and necessary follow-ups; and provides technical assistance and training to grantees.

Every LSC grantee is required to have an annual audit conducted by independent public accountants (IPA), in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. LSC's Office of Inspector General (OIG) oversees the IPA process and conducts oversight of grantee operations to identify fraud, waste and abuse. 

Enhanced Business-Oriented Management

LSC continues to enhance its internal operations. During the past several years, LSC has revised its policies on ethics, conflicts of interest, and whistleblowing; improved communication and coordination among LSC oversight offices, including the Office of Inspector General; and established staff and management training programs.