CNCS-OIG investigated an allegation that a senior official at the Center for People in Need (CFPIN), Lincoln, NE, improperly managed various aspects of its AmeriCorps program. An investigation by the CNCS-OIG and Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission (Commission) found that the subgrantee improperly charged the AmeriCorps grant for salaries of program staff who could not quantify time spent on the AmeriCorps program versus time spent on other programs. CFPIN also improperly charged the AmeriCorps grant for staff who were not assigned to the AmeriCorps program. In addition, CNCS-OIG determined that CFPIN violated:
45 C.F.R. § 2540.100 – Non-displacement, when AmeriCorps members (members) were directed to perform work ordinarily performed by a paid employee. CFPIN operated an English as a Second Language (ESL) program with a grant from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), that included funding for paid instructors. When the paid instructors resigned, the grantee improperly utilized AmeriCorps members to teach ESL. CFPIN never hired replacement ESL instructors nor did it notify the Commission or USCIS about the use of members to teach ESL; and,
2 C.F.R. § 200.306 (b) - Billing for Unallowable Match, when CFPIN provided AmeriCorps members with donated items (food, clothing, merchandise) and then improperly claimed the value of those items as part of the non-Federal match charged to the AmeriCorps grant.
CNCS management and the Commission concurred with the CNCS-OIG findings and recommendations. The Commission disallowed $47,063.25 in education awards for AmeriCorps members who improperly received a full or partial education award. After disallowing the match, the Commission found CFPIN still met the minimum match requirements for the AmeriCorps grant. The Commission declined to renew CFPIN’s AmeriCorps grants for subsequent grant years and reported the senior official was terminated.
Case ID: 2016-027