The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City (Mayor's Fund) served as the intermediary (i.e., the prime grantee) for a Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant from CNCS totaling approximately $28.5 million for the period from August 1, 2010 to July 31, 2015. The Mayor's Fund divided its responsibilities among itself, the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) and MDRC, a non-profit, nonpartisan social and education policy research firm. Ultimately, the Mayor's Fund subawarded $25.8 million in SIF funds to 19 subgrantees.
CNCS-OIG questioned more than $4.6 million based upon an audit of the costs incurred by the Mayor's Fundand three of its subgrantees: the Children's Aid Society, the Henry Street Project, and Madison Strategies Group (Madison), for the period from July 1, 2012,to June 30, 2015. The majority of these question costs flow from two findings: (1) MDRC's failure to conduct criminal history checks for its 165 staff members who were paid with SIF funds; and (2) a decision by the Mayor's Fund to award a subgrant to Madison, an unqualified organization with a substantial conflict of interest.
CNCS was apparently unaware of either of these problems, which we detail in this report.