An audit released Tuesday was critical of the city of Dayton for a number of issues, but the city manager called them “pretty minor.”
The city of Dayton did not properly monitor how federal dollars were used for two programs, missed key deadlines for submitting performance reports and did not take steps to ensure that federal funds only went to eligible vendors and groups, according to a single audit report of all of Dayton’s major federal grant programs.
City officials noted that Dayton received clean state audits that made no adjustments to the city’s financial statements since they were accurate without material issue.
“The city received an unmodified opinion for both of those audit activities, which essentially means we have no violations of auditing standards,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.
The single audit report from Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s office states that the city could put future federal funding at risk by not submitting timely reports and complying with other requirements.
In July, this newspaper reported that the city forfeited nearly $477,000 in federal money for missing important deadlines.
The city receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through Shelter Plus Care, which is a homeless-assistance program. The city also acts as a pass-through entity for funding from the Continuum of Care Program, which is dedicated to ending homelessness.
The city then distributes the funds to local organizations, known as sub-recipients.
The city failed to submit required performance reports on time for 2015 and 2016, the single audit states.
The single audit also identified multiple deficiencies in the city’s monitoring of the organizations that received Shelter Plus Care and Continuum of Care grant awards, which is intended to make sure that federal dollars are used for authorized purposes.
The city could not prove that it checked a federal awards management system to avoid giving money to organizations that were suspended or debarred from receiving federal assistance, the audit states.
The city did not perform on-site reviews of a grant sub-recipient, the audit says, and it did not enforce timely submissions of annual progress reports from sub-recipients, which resulted in the city turning in reports late to HUD.
The city’s main audit contained no findings, and the findings of the single audit of the city’s grant programs were minor and were for primarily for just two programs totalling $2.8 million in expenditures, said LaShea Smith, Dayton’s director of finance.
The single audit looked at 51 federal grants representing $28.5 million in spending.
“Out of $28.5 million in expenditures, there were minor calls to question on $2.8 million in expenditures, which is less than 10 percent,” Dickstein said. “These are pretty minor reporting issues that some would chalk up to human error — because we are humans processing all of this paperwork.”
The city already has taken action to correct to the minor errors and deficiencies, with some steps including offering more training and implementing policies and procedures to ensure rule compliance, officials said.
The department of planning and community development checks the federal suspension and debarment list before the start of the contracting process and prior to encumbering funds, the city said. The city also said it will engage in on-site monitoring and compliance-risk analysis as a matter of policy.