Audit Finds Stimulus Spending Went Unreported

6 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, March 24 2011 Mar 24, 2011 Thursday, March 24, 2011 10:53:00 AM CDT March 24, 2011 in News
By: Blake Hanson
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JEFFERSON CITY - The 2010 Statewide Single Audit (SWSA) released Thursday found multiple state agencies did not properly report use of federal money.

The SWSA is conducted each year to keep track of agency compliance in the use of federal awards.

More than $34 million was not adequately monitored, according to Schweich.

"We're not saying they [agencies] didn't spend the money right, what we're saying is they didn't monitor the spending correctly, so we could determine if it is correctly spent," said Schweich. 

The audit listed the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, within the Department of Social Services (DSS), as "lacking a formal and comprehensive system" for determining if costs are necessary.

The DSS declined an interview with KOMU Thursday, and said it is still reviewing information found in the audit.

The audit also states that the Department of Higher Education (DHE), Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and Natural Resources (DNR) either did not report or document the spending of federal money. 

One finding in the audit states that the DESE did not submit its reports in a timely manner. Ron Lankford, DESE Deputy Commissioner, said the department submitted the documentation the same way it had with previous federal money, despite the introduction of federal stimulus money.

Lankford said the federal guidelines for reporting that information are the same regardless of whether the money is from the stimulus.

"We went with what the federal guidelines were, and they did not require that we handle them any differently than all other federal dollars," said Lankford.

Lankford also said the department has always reported that information based on its fiscal year. 

In the audit, the DESE did not agree with some of the findings. Lankford said he will not change the way in which the department reports that information and he does not think it will impact their supply of federal money.

Schweich said because the data in not reported or documented correctly, he has no way of knowing if the money was spent properly.

"We're not saying they didn't spend the money right, what we're saying is they didn't monitor the spending correctly," said Schweich, "so we could determine if it is correctly spent."

Schweich said he does not believe this audit will impact the amount of federal money Missouri receives.

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