Audit: education grant poorly tracked
Posted December 3, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — A nonprofit that received nearly $100,000 from the Department of Public Instruction over two years could not properly account for the money, according to a report issued by the office of the state auditor today.
"The Executive Director of Real G.I.R.L.S., Inc. (RGI) could not provide adequate supporting documentation to demonstrate that grant funds were properly used. Instead, she provided an assortment of invoices, register receipts, and other documents that could not be matched to any of RGI’s reimbursement requests. Additionally, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (Department) did not require supporting documentation for the reimbursement requests prior to the processing of payments," according to the report.
RGI is a Wake County nonprofit that, according to its web site, creates "a firm foundation of character excellence through self awareness and education; and to build strong family, peer and community relationships that will lead to present and future success."
In one example cited by the auditor's office, the executive director could not properly account for how her salary was paid:
Although the grant budget allotted $15,000 for the Executive Director’s salary, she received only one check for $3,750 for her salary. The Executive Director said that the remaining $11,250 allotted for her salary was “taken in the form of purchases for personal items, ATM withdrawals, and cash back on purchases using the non-profit’s corporate debit card.” When we asked the Executive Director why she did not pay herself the $11,250 in the form of one or more checks, she said “there wasn’t enough money left over to write myself a check after paying the camp counselors and other expenses.”
The auditor's office recommended that Real Girls Inc be suspended from receiving further state funding.
In an official response, Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson wrote that the nonprofit has been "permanently suspended" from receiving future funding and that the state is trying to recover money for which the nonprofit doesn't have proper documentation.