PENNSYLVANIA — Tracie Fountain, 2020 Candidate for PA Auditor General announces her plan for Pennsylvania to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent adequately, transparently and effectively.
Not-for-Profit organizations are awarded federal, state, and local funding through agencies such as the Department of Human Services, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, etc. These agencies serve as pass-through agencies for the award to federal, state, and local grants to Pennsylvania non-profits.
Non-profits, in the state of Pennsylvania, fall into the categories of:
- Arts, cultures, and humanities
- Environment and animals
- Healthcare and mental health (excluding hospitals)
- Human Services
- Research: Science, Technology, Social Science
- Religion related and spiritual development
It is of importance that a plan is put in place to monitor Pennsylvania state agencies’ oversight of grant funding awarded to non-profits, in order to ensure that the awarded grants are used for their intended purposes to reduce the risk of fraud, waste, and abuse of grant funding by non-profits going undetected.
For example, during Tracie’s tenure as bureau director for the Auditor General’s Bureau of Children and Youth Services Audits, her and her team found that the majority of Children and Youth Services agencies, under the Department of Human Services oversight, had no fiscal related monitoring procedures in place to ensure that contracted services being paid for with PA taxpayer funds were actually provided, in adherence to executed contract terms.
To mitigate this risk with contracted In-Home Services providers, Tracie and her team issued recommendations requiring fiscal related monitoring of contracted In-Home Service providers by the County Children and Youth Agencies, in adherence to executed contract terms. This same risk exists as it relates to the awarded grants given to non-profit agencies.
Tracie has developed a three-step plan to ensure that PA non-profits, receiving state funding, are using their awarded grant funds for their intended purposes, in order to reduce the risk of the misappropriation of these funds.
Tracie’s plan to ensure that oversight agencies perform fiscal related monitoring of non-profits consists of the following:
- Tracie will add procedures to mandated audits of state agencies’ that will require the review and assessment of those agencies’ fiscal related monitoring over non-profits awarded grant funding to ensure that grant funds are used for their intended purposes.
- When a lack of appropriate fiscal related monitoring of grant funding is found, a recommendation will be issued to the oversight agency detailing how their fiscal related monitoring procedures for non-profits should be strengthened.
- For any agencies failing to implement fiscal related monitoring policy and procedures, the Auditor General’s office will perform procedures for a selected number of non-profits receiving state funding from such agencies and will perform procedures to determine if awarded grant funds were used for their intended purposes. If it is found that grant funds were not used appropriately, such findings will be reported to the Attorney General’s office.
With this plan in place, proper scrutiny over non-profit usage of state grant funds will be significantly improved. Thus, ensuring that grant funds awarded to non-profits are being used for their intended purposes and thus reducing the risk of fraudulent use of state grant funds going undetected.
About Tracie Fountain, Certified Public Accountant | Candidate for PA Auditor General, 2020
Tracie Fountain is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of Drexel University. Tracie served in the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s office for over 29 years. Many will define the office of the Auditor General in their own way, but to be clear, this is an accounting position that serves as the fiscal watchdog for PA to identify, and issue recommendations to eliminate fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement of taxpayer funds. Tracie’s leadership, through the release of transparent audit reports and established open lines of communications with Pennsylvania citizens, will ensure that Pennsylvania taxpayer funds are efficiently and effectively used for their intended purposes and that funded programs are achieving their established objectives.
For more information about Tracie Fountain, visit TracieForPA.com.