Tuesday, November 08, 2016

St John's NL Women's Shelter questioned on spending/poor oversight

A CBC Investigative Report focused on dubious spending and questionable management practices at "Iris Kirby House" - a Women's Refuge in St John's NL that receives C$2 million per year in funding from the Province.
Overall, the comptroller general's office found "a number of concerns" related to financial oversight and controls.
"When an organization lacks proper segregation of duties or other compensating controls, it is more vulnerable to the risk of fraudulent activity," the report noted.CBC News obtained a partially-redacted version of the document through access to information.  
The comptroller general's office dedicated two-and-a-half pages of the 14-page report to Tobin's compensation.
Iris Kirby House CEO Gail Tobin, says the financial report contains "numerous inaccuracies" and she has hired a lawyer. (CBC)

  • Questions were raised over Executive Compensation.
  • A new Board member was "surprised and disappointed" by many things in the Comptroller Generals Report.
  • The finding showed expenses that "were not a good use of money".
  • Executive Director Gail Tobin is "away from the office on an extended medical leave".
  • Unnamed consultant was paid $177,000 for Staff Development in 2015 but there was not written report available contrary to the agreement.
  • The Comptrollers Report also highlighted spending on "travel, alcohol and meals".
  • Thousands of Gift Cards were distributed without details on who/what the recipient used it for.
The report followed years of questionable financial reporting covered by the local CBC journalists.

This is not a surprise as "Math is Hard" for Feminists and sticking to a schedule and being accountable for expenses are well-recognized aspects of "patriarchal oppression".  In the U.S it is well acknowledged * that VAWA programs exhibit poor program compliance and weak financial accountability.

* Source: RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) "Agenda for VAWA Reform: Reducing Partner Violence, Respecting Civil Liberties and Protecting the Family"  [Downloaded Nov 8, 2016 - http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARdocument-Agenda-for-VAWA-Reform.pdf]

"Auditors have documented a long-standing pattern of financial mismanagement of VAWA-funded programs. The Government Accountability Office has repeatedly documented shortcomings in program oversight by the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW), including “inconsistent documentation and the lack of systematic data,”50 poor quality evaluations that “raise concerns about whether the evaluations will produce definitive results,”51 and lack of program utilization data that would be “consistent and reliable enough for analysis of the specific information required.”52 Likewise the DoJ Office of the Inspector General has documented wide-scale financial mismanagement, both by recipients of OVW grants 53,54,55 and by the Office on Violence Against Women itself. 56 More than a year after the irregularities were identified, the problems remained unresolved. 57 Finally, reports have been received of embezzlement of VAWA funds 58 and falsification of federal financial reports" 59

50 General Accounting Office. Justice discretionary grants: Byrne Program and Violence Against Women Office grant monitoring should be better documented. Report GAO-02-25, November 2001. 
51 General Accounting Office. Justice impact evaluations: One Byrne evaluation was rigorous; All reviewed Violence Against Women Office evaluations were problematic. Report no. GAO-02-309. March 2002. 
52 General Accountability Office. Services provided to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Report no. GAO-07-846R. July 9, 2007. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07846r.pdf 
53 Office on Violence Against Women, Legal Assistance for Victims Grant No. 1998-WL-VX-0023, Legal Aid of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska. Department of Justice Audit Report No. GR-60-05-012. September 2005 
54 Stop Violence Against Women Formula Grant Awarded to the State of Texas Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division. Department of Justice Audit Report No. GR-80-05-008. August 2005. 
55 Grants to encourage arrest policies and enforcement of protection orders administered by Dane County, Wisconsin. Department of Justice Audit Report No. GR-50-04-003. December 2003. 
56 U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. The Department of Justice’s grant close-out process. Audit Report 07-05. 2006. http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/reports/plus/a0705/final.pdf 
57 Department of Justice. Management decisions on audit reports not implemented within one year, as of March 31, 2007. http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/alo/may2007/delinquent_audit_reports.pdf 
58 Theft alleged at abuse shelter. Pioneer Press, Feb. 2006. 
59 SafeHouse plans last appeal of $483,000 penalty by state. www.mlive.com. June 3, 2006

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