Tuesday, August 3, 2010

City Fails to Check Federal Debarment Status of Non-Profit Agency

The City of Mount Vernon, Washington was the subject of a recent audit finding by the Washington State Auditor's Office for failing to have adequate internal controls in place to verify that recipients of federal funds were not debarred or suspended from federal contracting.

The failure to check debarment status for any contract of $25,000 or more is one of the most common audit findings against public agencies.  

Mount Vernon received over a half million dollars in Community Development Block Grant funds in 2009, of which almost $60,000 went to a non-profit agency.  The City failed to check whether the non-profit was debarred or suspended under federal regulations.  To read the three page audit finding, click here.
Checking the Debarment Status:  The debarment check can be accomplished by either obtaining a written certification that the firm (or in this case, non-profit agency) is not debarred or suspended, or by checking the debarment status on the federal government's debarment website:  http://www.epls.gov.

Tip:  If you receive any federal funds for your agency, remember to read and comply with all of the terms of the grant agreement, which may include provisions besides doing a debarment check. 

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