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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Same Old Money Problems at CNCS, Part II

Audit shows lack of scrutiny of grantees' financial skills

The second report in two weeks about financial management problems at the Corporation for National and Community Service, the parent agency of AmeriCorps, has been issued by the agency's Office of Inspector General; this one is about the lack of scrutiny given new grantees' financial expertise.

Primarily, the audit found, the agency relies on the grantees' own assessment of their financial abilities - as reported on a Financial Management Survey each must complete - but provide little or no follow-up assistance, even to those groups that say they do not have the capabilities to comply with all the federal management regulations.

In addition, the audit found it was unclear if CNCS personnel had even looked at the most of those required Financial Management Surveys. And though the surveys were supposed to be part of a grantee's record, those forms could not be located for 15 percent of the grantees they reviewed.

Just as the special evaluation of the 2008 budget process - requested by the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the agency and released earlier this month - found many of the same profound management deficiencies that had been identified five years earlier, the latest audit identified as continuing problems many of the same ones that were found in a similar audit more than a decade ago.

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