Sneak Preview: Colorado Seeks Improved Veterans Fund Oversight

July 16, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs plans to develop guidance this fall to clearly define what supporting documentation is required for Veterans Trust Fund grant program expenditures and what documents must be retained by award recipients for audits and reviews, in response to concerns about the program raised by the Colorado Office of State Auditor.

In 2000, the state general assembly established the Colorado Veterans Trust Fund. Administered by DMVA and the state’s Board of Veterans Affairs, the program provides funds for veterans’ nursing homes, veterans’ cemeteries and veterans’ programs offered by nonprofit veterans’ organizations through a competitive grant process. From fiscal year 2010 to FY 2014, the board awarded 205 grants totaling $4.4 million to Colorado veterans organizations.

However, during a recent audit, OSA found that the program lacked sufficient oversight due to the lack of procurement documentation guidance. For example, it found that 140 expenditures out of 900 sampled lacked a detailed and accurate description of the items or services provided, and that 748 out of 900 expenditures sampled found that documentation provided by the grantees was insufficient to allow DMVA to determine whether payments were appropriate.

“Overall, DMVA’s current contract monitoring procedures are not sufficient to ensure that the grantees’ use of grant funds are appropriate given the grants’ purpose or that all payments adhere to the requirements included in the grant contract or the DMVA’s and the board’s VTF grant policies,” OSA explained. “Because the statements of work in the grant contracts and the board’s policy statement are very vague, it is difficult to determine whether some expenditures are appropriate to accomplish the purpose of a specific grant.”

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