Grant Activities of the New England Regional Commission

CED-78-20: Published: Jan 6, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 6, 1978.

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Expenditures charged by the Governor's Office of the State of Connecticut to grants made by the New England Regional Commission (NERCOM) from funds provided by the Secretary of Commerce were reviewed as a result of questions raised by the auditors of Connecticut's public accounts during their audits of 1974 and 1975 grants to the Governor's office. The auditors questioned whether State Management Grant (SMG) funds and 1975 Energy Capability Grant funds had been used to further the grant objectives.

SMG were made to improve the Governor's office capabilities to plan and manage State economic development efforts. However, the grant funds were used for general expenses of the Governor's office, and State records do not show that expenses were related to grant purposes. State budgets did not detail how the funds were to be used, and NERCOM did not provide specific guidelines on how the funds were to be used and accounted for. Department of Commerce guidelines to regional commissions also did not identify examples of proper and improper fund use or accounting methods. The use of $4,988 of Energy Capability Grants to pay expenses related to a lawsuit was questionable.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Commerce should require NERCOM to: (1) ensure that SMG to all member states provide clear statements that grant funds are to be used to increase the state's capabilities to plan and manage economic development; (2) require states to submit plans and budgets specifically indicating how funds will be used to meet grant objectives; and (3) improve its guidance to states in the proper use of SMG funds and its monitoring of such use. The Secretary should also direct Commerce auditors to audit SMG to all other NERCOM members to determine if unallowable expenditures have been charged and to recover such unallowable expenditures when appropriate.

    Agency Affected:

 

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