Watchdog estimates NC DHHS misspent $500,000 in federal funds - | WBTV Charlotte

Watchdog estimates NC DHHS misspent $500,000 in federal funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBTV) -

A federal watchdog has found the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services misspent roughly a half-million dollars in federal grant money intended to pay for prevention and public health programs in the state.

The US Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General released its report this month outlining its estimate that the state agency could have more effectively used $493,401 and recommending the state refund $50,485 in federal funds used for unallowable costs.

DOCUMENT: Read the OIG's full report

The study looked at expenditures made using money from a CDC Prevention and Public Health Fund Award grant for FY 2010-2013.

"The State agency claimed costs under FYs 2010 through 2013 CDC PPHF awards that were not always in accordance with federal requirements," the OIG's report reads.

"On the basis of our statistical sample results, we estimated that the State agency could have more effectively used $493,401 of Federal funds for allowable expenditures that would have furthered the award objectives," the report said later.

The report makes two recommendations: that the state refund $50,485 in unallowable costs and improve its controls to ensure that funds are spent in accordance with federal requirements.

In its report, the OIG says NCDHHS concurred with its recommendations.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for NCDHHS said the agency is working to implement the OIG's recommendations.

"The Department will monitor the progress of the internal control enhancements and management practices to ensure that Federal awards are administered efficiently and effectively by the State Agency," the spokeswoman said.

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