Americorps fraught with Fraud? IG fired for discovering it?

Michelle Malkin has done it again, bringing us a story on Americorps and the fraud and corruption inside it.

This little-noticed story in Youth Today yesterday points to another example of Walpin blowing the whistle on fraud:

The inspector general (IG) of the Corporation for National and Community Service is being removed by President Barack Obama, a week after the IG questioned the eligibility of the largest and most expensive AmeriCorps program, and while the IG was contesting the “propriety” of a settlement made with a mayor for alleged misuse of AmeriCorps funds.

Funding for the largest AmeriCorps program – the Teaching Fellows Program, run by the Research Foundation of the City University of New York – is in abeyance pending resolution of widespread problems identified in a recent audit. Although Walpin recommended that funding be curtailed and that previous funds (perhaps as much as $75 million) be repaid to the corporation, the corporation has said it will take no action on that matter.
 

Walpin concluded that nothing was being gained by the grants to CUNY and that the money was simply being used to subsidize an existing and funded program.

This Inspector General filed his report which you can read here: http://www.cncsig.gov/AuditReports.html

This is only the beginning – here is a little piece of the report filed:

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), Corporation for National and Community Service (Corporation), contracted with Cotton & Company LLP to perform agreed-upon procedures to assist the OIG in grant cost and compliance testing of Corporation-funded Federal assistance provided to The Research Foundation of the City University of New York (RFCUNY). The Corporation awarded two Education Award Program grants to RFCUNY that were categorized as Professional Model grants.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS

As a result of applying our procedures, we questioned education awards of $16,152,414 and draw downs of $773,254. In general, we questioned the education awards for members whose eligibility was not established in accordance with grant requirements for criminal background checks. Draw downs were questioned mostly for fixed fees related to members whose eligibility we questioned and also for drawing down in excess of fees earned. In addition, our compliance findings when taken as a whole indicate pervasive problems of eligibility, timekeeping, and documentation. A questioned cost is an alleged violation of a provision of law, regulation, contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or other agreement or document governing the expenditure of funds or a finding that, at the time of testing,
includes costs not supported by adequate documentation.

…Participants who successfully complete terms of service under AmeriCorps grants are eligible for education awards and, in some cases, accrued interest awards funded by the Corporation’s National Service Trust. These award amounts are not funded by Corporation grants and thus are not included in claimed grant costs. But at the time that a grant is awarded, and due to the grant award, these amounts become immediate obligations of the National Service Trust. Therefore, as part of our agreed-upon procedures, and using the same criteria used for the grantee’s claimed costs, we determined the effect of our findings on AmeriCorps members’ entitlement to education and accrued interest awards.

The following is a summary of grant compliance testing results…

1. RFCUNY drew down more funds than it was due.

2. RFCUNY did not follow certain AmeriCorps Provisions.

3. The supervisory signature on members’ timesheets was not the members’ supervisor, or that of someone with direct knowledge of hours served by the members.

4. Members did not always record actual service hours on their timesheets.

5. Some members’ timesheet hours were not accurately recorded in the Corporation’s Web-Based Reporting System.

6. RFCUNY did not require its members to timely submit their member contracts, forms, and timesheets.

7. RFCUNY used preprinted member documentation and did not ensure that all member documentation was completed, signed, and dated.

8. RFCUNY did not maintain documentation to demonstrate that each member’s evaluation complied with AmeriCorps Regulations and the Member Agreement.

9. RFCUNY did not maintain documentation to demonstrate that members received criminal background checks and that any background checks conducted complied with AmeriCorps Provisions.

10. RFCUNY entered incorrect member start dates in Corporation systems and in member contracts.

11. Some members worked beyond their contract-end date.

Personally – I would love to add something pithy or meaningful – but frankly, this is something I can’t add much to. This is just corruption and the cover up of corruption by people who are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the majority of the American people and act saintly while practicing cronyism, machine politics, and protection of a supporter caught with his hand in a cookie jar.

Since the American people, in their wisdom decided in their knee jerk pied piper routine to follow the media down this rathole to socialism and petty identity politics, we have no way of slowing this train down if the Democrats all decide to hop on the ride at the same time.

It’s becoming more and more apparent that investigations are going to be stopped, people looking into things will be punished or removed and people who question methods or ideas will be attacked, and generally in a hateful manner.

This is the hope and change that everyone was hoping for, right?

The debt everyone cursed Bush for is quadrupled, the war continues with more troops being sent back to the Middle East, our ally is being ignored in favor of Iran and Hammas, unemployment is worse than predicted, tax cheats put into office, people being fired to cover up fraud, dates, fly overs, etc.

I can’t stand what is going on here –  this IG did his job, and should be rewarded, not punished. The people who should be punished are the people who are committing misdeeds, not the ones discovering them.

If you want a lot more information, take a look at this site:

 http://michellemalkin.com/2009/06/12/obamas-americorps-scandal-and-the-first-ladys-meddling/trackback/

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