Questionable federal grant spending could put Oklahoma on the hook for millions

(The Center Square) – An audit of $13 billion in federal grant money by Oklahoma State Auditor Cindy Byrd shows questionable spending of millions that could be clawed back by the federal government.

The largest amount in question is $21 million allotted to Communities Foundation of Oklahoma, a nonprofit tasked with overseeing $241 million for the Emergency Rental Assistance program. 

The audit questions $8.6 million in questionable management fees and $4.3 million used for subawards that did not have documentation.

The nonprofit also spent $6.6 million on Afghan relocation services. 

“This was not an allowable expense for this grant,” according to the audit. “The State of Oklahoma had other grants available for these types of services.”

The Communities Foundation of Oklahoma was questioned about its spending last year as well, especially the management fee, Byrd said in an interview with The Center Square.

“Federal guidelines only allow you to charge administrative costs directly attributable to operating the grant,” Byrd said. “What this nonprofit did, they took for this
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