Release: Single Audit Repeats Call for Drastic Improvements in Grants Management
Tuesday Sep 12th, 2023
204 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Geoff Shannon, Public Relations Officer
Baltimore, Md. – Baltimore City grants management remains in dire need of significant improvement, according to audit findings in the recently released annual Baltimore City Single Audit. These repeat findings are sounding an alarm that if the City continues to ignore, they risk millions in grant funding essential to serving the most vulnerable Baltimoreans.
"Baltimore City has historically left grants management to individual agencies and the disjointed, decentralized management of millions of dollars in federal grants year after year is reaching a crisis point," said Celeste Amato, Clerk to the Board of Estimates/Chief of Staff to Comptroller Henry. "Even with a new financial system in place and increased focus on improving other central administrative controls, the City needs to make greater strides now."
Among the 24 findings noted in Baltimore City’s Single Audit, nine were attributed to federal grant programs managed by the Health Department. The remaining findings were tied to the Department of Finance, Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success (MOCFS), Mayor’s Office of Homelessness, and Baltimore City Information & Technology (BCIT).
Independent firm SB & Company, LLC, conducted the Fiscal Year 2022 Single Audit and presented its findings at the September 6th meeting of the Baltimore City Board of Estimates.
Summary of Findings
Five different findings (009, 017, 019, 020, 021) cited that, “Finance and the agency use different parameters for generating reports and there was no documentation of the reconciling [of] differences.” This same finding was presented repeatedly in audits from prior years.
Vital HIV prevention and care services for uninsured and underinsured persons both incurred significant findings. HIV Prevention Activities, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, had three findings related to reporting, record-keeping, and cash management. HIV Emergency Relief Project Grants had repeat findings regarding cash management and subrecipient monitoring.
“The Health Department has said the exact same thing in their corrective action plan year after year in every single audit. It’s the same explanation they’ve shared with the Board in response to their late grant contracts and biennial audit. It’s incredibly frustrating to hear an agency say they know how to fix a problem and still make only minimal progress, time after time,” said Comptroller Bill Henry. “If we can't improve our performance - substantially and quickly there could be immediate negative consequences for our most vulnerable communities.”
The Single Audit can be found on the Comptroller’s website.
About the Single Audit
The Single Audit, previously known as the OMB Circular A-133 audit, is an organization-wide financial statement and federal awards audit of a non-federal entity that expends $750,000 or more in federal funds in one year. It is intended to provide assurance to the Federal Government that a non-federal entity has adequate fiscal and administrative internal controls in place and is generally in compliance with program requirements. Non-federal entities include states, local governments, Indian tribes, institutions, and non-profit organizations.
Baltimore City is not a low-risk federal funding recipient and therefore external auditors are required to test 40% of total federal awards expended, instead of 20%.
The external auditor, SB & Company is hired by the Department of Finance. The Department of Audits assists.