The annual compliance audit of the city’s federal expenditures showed only one major problem among the programs the city administers using federal funding.
The only “qualified opinion” of auditor RSM states that the America’s Promise grant program showed “material weakness in an internal control and an instance of noncompliance regarding verification of eligibility of participants.”
As previously reported by OI, the city is having to take corrective action and examine potential financial impact for mismanagement of the America’s Promise grant program. Members of the city’s workforce development staff discovered a problem with those enrolled in the program being potentially ineligible for the grant, resulting in a special audit in December 2019.
The grants allow students to study tuition-free at Ozarks Technical Community College in one of six areas: certified nurse assistant, pharmacy technician, certified medical assistant, phlebotomist, LPN to RN bridge and emergency medical technician.
The city has taken corrective measures in regards to the America’s Promise program. The city changed the authorized representative of the grant to the interim director of Workforce Development. They developed a new policy for eligibility and a checklist for the enrollment process.
The online application has also been altered to better determine residence of the applicant being within the service area and other questions related to age and current employment status requirements.
Of the 106 participants found to be ineligible, the disqualifying factor was an employment status of “unemployed, underemployed, or an incumbent worker.” The incumbent worker definition is under review to see if those classified in that category are actually eligible under grant requirements. If they are eligible, the remaining participants in question, 59 participants, would allow for $246,000 in questionable costs.
Here is the report from RSM:City-Springfield-Compliance-Final