Dan Cadman, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies with 30 years of service at INS/ICE, asks a question I’ve asked and many are asking around the country: why are the federal resettlement contractors, which gobble-up millions of federal dollars every year, not being financially audited?
Taxpayers of America have a right to know just exactly how the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, for instance, is spending our money.
Years ago I was told by a senior State Department official that financial audits of contractors just aren’t done. They are only audited with program audits I was told—you know, like that easy to manipulate accounting about how many refugees in their care got jobs. Things like that.
According to Cadman, it is already the law that the contractors must be fiscally audited. Any pro-bono lawyers out there?
The Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (DOJ OIG) has issued a report on its audit of two grants funded by DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) to a Georgia entity called Tapestri, Inc., which describes its mission as “end[ing] violence and oppression in refugee and immigrant communities”, according to the report.
Though required by law, audits of immigrant and refugee-related grants are rare.
He goes on to describe that particular audit finding, then this:
OMB Circular A-133, and its accompanying yearly compliance supplements, lay out specific requirements for fiscal audits of grantees and contractors receiving federal funds across the array of cabinet departments and agencies, such as the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the Department of Health and Human Services, whose Refugee and Entrant program is governed by CFDA 93.566 for the 2015 compliance supplement.
This is the third time of late that I’ve spoken to financial issues relating to awards granted to various organizations for sheltering and protection programs of refugees, alien entrants, and sundry migrants (including unaccompanied minors and families who have crossed the border illegally). These programs that receive huge amounts of taxpayer funding (see here and here) — and by huge, I mean billions of dollars.
Yet, with the exception of the DOJ OIG, I find little evidence of audits being undertaken, despite the vast dollar amounts or the clearly articulated OMB requirements. Certainly they are not readily to be found on public websites of the various OIG offices, nor those of the offices of primary responsibility within Homeland Security or Health and Human Services.
How could this be? Why has OMB not chastised the remiss agencies? Why has the Government Accountability Office not singled them out? Is the public not entitled to know who is receiving hundreds of millions in federal dollars, and how they are being spent?
I hope this is useful information for our growing number of ‘Pockets of Resistance.’