Audit Finds Washington, D.C., HIV/AIDS Administration Inadequately Monitoring Local Service Organizations
Washington, D.C.'s HIV/AIDS Administration is inadequately overseeing organizations that deliver services to HIV-positive residents, sometimes prepares "questionable" reports and funds groups that are not involved with HIV/AIDS, according to an audit released on Thursday by the district's inspector general, the Washington Post reports. The audit found that HAA gave $8 million in grants to 19 groups that did not have permission to operate in Washington, D.C., because their incorporation papers had been revoked or they lacked the proper business licenses. The audit also found that the administration's grant monitors did not properly oversee organizations' performance, rarely visiting providers quarterly or writing reports on their findings as they are required to do, the Post reports. In addition, under federal law, organizations receiving more than $300,000 annually must undergo independent audits. However, according to a study of 23 providers, three of them -- including one that received $9 million in grants -- failed to submit audits for 2002 and 2003 but continued to receive additional funding. Furthermore, the inspector general's office found that six providers were not located at the addresses listed on their grant agreements and two locations did not appear to offer any HIV/AIDS services. According to the audit, the administration's own fiscal accountability was poor and employees could not provide details about budget and expenditure on individual grants, the Post reports. Health Director Gregg Pane said he "basically agreed" with the audit's findings, although he said most of it dealt with activities that were several years old. "There are still lessons to be learned. I think some of these are still issues today," he said. The health department has responded to the audit with written recommendations for the agency, according to the Post (Woodlee/Levine, Washington Post, 6/24).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.