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Audit: Nevada mishandled millions in US crime victim grants

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Posted at 2:28 PM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 13:12:56-04

The U.S. Justice Department says Nevada's Department of Health and Human Services misappropriated or failed to adequately justify the use of millions of dollars in federal crime victim assistance grants from 2012-16.

The audit released Monday by the department's inspector general examined $45.6 million in grants awarded to Nevada over the four years to distribute to rape treatment centers, domestic violence shelters, centers for missing children and other community-based victim coalitions.

Among other the things, the audit concludes Nevada failed to track priority funding areas and failed to ensure compliance with grant conditions. As a result, the audit found $4 million in excess funds were distributed. It cited another $1.87 million in expenditures lacking adequate documentation.

Nevada officials have accepted 21 of 22 recommendations for corrective action. They're working to resolve a final discrepancy regarding allowable administrative costs.

The head of Nevada's Division of Child and Family Services says the state is already working aggressively to address the concerns.

Division administrator Kelly Wooldridge says the corrective action plan already underway includes more training and better monitoring of the service providers as well as improving internal procedures and documentation.

She says the department didn't actually distribute $4 million in excess grants, rather it had made plans to do so using a formula based on past funding levels that didn't materialize. She says that practice ended last year.