Improper Payments Go to Defunct Youth-Offender Program in Florida

July 15, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

schoolIt’s always a shame to see federal funds go to waste, and here’s another prime example. A post by BrowardBulldog.org in Florida reported on a recent audit that found that a defunct youth-offender program in the Miami area wasted a $1 million county grant by building a vocational trade school that has sat empty for the past three years.

The now-disbanded Office of Capital Improvements distributed the funds to Bay Point Schools in Cutler Bay from 2009 to 2011, although the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice cut off operational funding for Bay Point in 2009.

In 2008, Bay Point was among 37 nonprofit groups that received grants from Miami-Dade’s $2.9 billion general-obligation bond program, the article states. It added that the boarding school experienced problems as it expanded from 2003 to 2009. State administrators ended Bay Point’s contract, and began moving youths to other facilities in January 2009.

However, the capital improvements office continued providing grant funds for the facility until the entire grant had been spent. The final payment of $90,000 was made in June 2011 to finish construction and obtain a certificate of occupancy, the article continued.  By then, the school was no longer housing juvenile offenders.

Such needless improper payments are continuing to plague grant programs nationwide. It will be interesting to see what remedial actions come in the wake of this audit finding.

Let us know if you’ve seen similar cases of egregious improper payments?

Photo courtesy of the Miami Herald/BrowardBulldog.org

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