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An audit by the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General released yesterday found that D.C.’s Department of Employment Services had numerous accounting and record-keeping errors when administering federal job training grants from October 2008 to the end of 2011. The DOL’s OIG is recommending the feds try and recoup $8.8 million in “questioned costs” DOES “improperly charged” the federal government.
Some of the problems the audit found include DOES overcharging by $5 million because it relied on estimated budgets, rather than actual ones; not having adequate paperwork to support 49 out of 84 adjustments to federal grants; and not submitting “any of its 54” federal federal financial reports on time in September of 2011.
The audit found problems with CFO’s Nat Gandhi‘s office, which handles accounting for DOES’ “financial activities and reporting.” The audit found that some of Gandhi’s employees had “improperly charged” the feds for work on administering the grants.
The problems span both former Mayor Adrian Fenty and Mayor Vince Gray’s administration. Earlier this week, LL reported that DOES is investigating a job-training program whose participants say they are being sent to the city’s museums rather than receiving any usable training.
Spokeswomen for both DOES and the OCFO did not immediately respond to requests for comment. But part of the OIG’s report includes a March 21 letter from DOES Director Lisa Mallory accepting the audit’s findings. Mallory says that the lack of supporting paperwork as well as “staff turnover and the resultant loss of institutional memory” were factors that “played a critical role in the acceptance of these findings.” Mallory said DOES has worked with the OCFO to implement “strategic reforms” that should avert similar problems in the future.
You can read the audit here.