Office on Violence Against Women, Legal Assistance for Victims
Grant No. 1998-WL-VX-0023, Legal Aid of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska
Audit Report GR-60-05-012
Office of the Inspector General
The Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, has completed an audit of the Legal Assistance for Victims Grant No. 1998 WL VX 0023 in the amount of $1,981,552 (including four supplements) awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to Legal Aid of Nebraska (Legal Aid), Omaha, Nebraska. The purpose of the grant is to strengthen legal assistance for victims of sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence through innovative, collaborative programs. The grant is intended to increase the availability of legal assistance in order to provide effective aid to victims who are seeking relief in legal matters arising as a consequence of abuse or violence.
We tested Legal Aidís accounting records to determine if costs claimed under the grant were allowable, supported, and in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, guidelines, and terms and conditions of the grant. As of January 10, 2005, Legal Aid had been reimbursed $1,557,464 of the $1,981,552 total grant funds awarded.
Our audit revealed that Legal Aid claimed and was reimbursed for unallowable and unsupported costs. We found that Legal Aid (1) did not maintain adequate accounting records of costs charged to the grant; (2) did not adequately monitor its contractors; and (3) was reimbursed for costs charged to the grant that were not supported by adequate documentation or were not allowable according to the approved grant budget. Further, Financial Status Reports (FSRs) and Progress Reports were not accurate, and were not always submitted timely.
Based on the deficiencies listed below, we identified dollar related findings totaling $1,277,909 or 64.5 percent of the $1,981,552 total grant funds awarded.1 Specifically, we found:
These items are discussed in detail in the Findings and Recommendations section of the report. Our audit objectives, scope and methodology appear in Appendix I.