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Audit: Maryland has little oversight when awarding & tracking billions in grants

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Posted at 2:15 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 15:33:57-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Little oversight exists when it comes to how Maryland awards and tracks billions of dollars in grants.

This according to an audit released Tuesday by the Maryland General Assembly's Office of Legislative Audits.

The report highlights six findings on how the state comes up short when accounting for grants awarded and following up on how those funds are being used.

  • Finding 1: The State does not have statewide comprehensive laws, regulations, policies or procedures governing the creation, award, and administration of State grants.
  • Finding 2: The State does not have standardized grant applications and grant agreements. As a result, we noted critical provisions that were not included in certain State agencies’ grant agreements.
  • Finding 3: The State did not have a statewide grants management system to help administer and track grant awards and related expenditures.
  • Finding 4: Individual agencies awarded certain grants without competition and required documentation was not always available to support the propriety of the award, including one award which was not calculated correctly.
  • Finding 5: The Department of General Services did not ensure that grantees submitted required documents to explain or support the basis used to select vendors to work on certain capital projects funded by State capital grants. The agency also did not perform documented routine site visits to ensure capital projects funded with State grants were progressing in accordance with the terms of the contract(s) funded by the grants.
  • Finding 6: Certain State agencies did not maintain documentation to support grant payments totaling approximately $22.3 million and made payments totaling $220,000 that were not in accordance with the related grant agreement.

Auditors believe the lack of such policies could present potential conflicts of interests, and impact the level of competition for those applying for grants.

The report suggested several fixes, which can be read in the full report below.