Expenditure of Funds under Federal Employment, Training, and Housing Programs in Buffalo, New York

HRD-78-101: Published: May 1, 1978. Publicly Released: May 1, 1978.

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A review of how the City of Buffalo, New York, controls federal funds granted to it focused on three areas: (1) general information on how the city controls federal funds; (2) review of actions taken on recommendations in a 1977 report on Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) programs in Buffalo and Erie County; and (3) follow up of allegations regarding misuse of federal funds. Buffalo received grants totalling about $140 million from a number of federal agencies during fiscal years 1976 and 1977. The City Comptroller's Office is responsible for CETA funds, and the Financial Control of Agencies has control over block grant funds. Both systems appear to have adequate controls although this does not preclude problems with individual transactions. In both systems, grantees are given initial advances, and all expenditures must be substantiated with paid receipts from vendors before any additional funds are provided. Actions have been taken or are being taken by appropriate agencies to correct deficiencies noted in the 1977 report on CETA programs, including: (1) recovery of over $92,000 from Buffalo for nine ineligible participations; (2) ensuring that only eligible persons participate in the program; (3) gathering data to identify groups who should receive preferred treatment in hiring; (4) requiring certifications regarding nepotism; and (5) revision of language on political activities. Documentation regarding allegations of misuse of funds has been subpoened by the Grand Jury, but most of the alleged purchases were made by an agency no longer in existence.

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