Such a waste of potential, and so simple to avoid…
This one takes place just down the road from my old office in Colorado.
The Office of the Inspector General for the federal funder found that more than $704,000 in grant funds were either unallowable costs or unsupported questioned costs on a $1.5 million Federal award.
When Good Grants Go Bad
The primary findings included:
- Awarding of sole-source contracts without the prior written approval of the funding agency. (One for $1 million and one for over $491,000.)
- Improperly use of grant funds for promotional items and meals for spouses of the employees attending meetings.
- Numerous instances where the amounts reported on Federal expenditures reports did not match the organization’s accounting records
- Purchases made after the period of performance expired for the grant
- Drawing advance funds in excess of the immediate cash needs of the grant
- Improper cost match for funds as required in the terms and conditions of the award
Ignorance Is Not a Defense
Do I really have to say this?
ignorance of the regulations is not much of an excuse for opening taxpayer funds to waste, fraud, and abuse…especially when it’s from a law enforcement organization.
But like it often seems to happen, the people who mishandle the grants aren’t the ones left to explain the mess.
Witness the current Executive Director’s responses to the grant mismanagement that took place before he arrived:
“The association made a mistake and didn’t administer the grant properly. I own up to that,” the Executive Director said Friday. “They were accounting errors. There’s no criminal intent.”
In concurring with the audit findings, the written response to the Inspector General’s report, the organization said:
“As you can tell, there were a lot of errors…in reporting on both of these grants, but without a lot of instruction and training, we did the best we could do,” and “the mistakes came only out of “ignorance.”
Let me ask you this…
How many people could have been trained on the grant management requirements for nearly $700,000 they will be expected to repay?
I bet everyone there could have gone through Grant Management Boot Camp and not even come close to the huge dollars that need to be repaid.
It’s not just the waste of taxpayer funds that makes me angry; it’s the waste of potential good that could have been done with those funds…if only..the grant was managed properly.
The funds were supposed to be used to notify crime victims about the status of criminals, not purchase T-shirts and family dining.
This type of waste is so easy to avoid with a small investment in a well-trained workforce.
Don’t be the next victim!
Want to learn more about Grant Management?
Looking to learn more about grant management?
Learn more at our next Grant Management Boot Camp training.
Lucy Morgan CPA, MBA
CEO, Compliance Warrior