Tuesday, November 11, 2014

AIDS Org's $179,000 Questionable Spending, Audit Finds

You may recall that in 2011, I blogged about the $526,000 salary of Gail Barouh, pictured, who's the executive of three nonprofits: the Long Island Association for AIDS Care, BiasHelp and Long Island Network of Community Services. She's built a comfy empire for herself with lots of perks.

She's back on my accountability radar because New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has conducted an audit of a contract Albany had with LIAAC, and he found $179,000 was spent for questionable purposes.

While I applaud DiNapoli for providing such oversight of an AIDS service organization, I also am displeased his office hasn't publicized this audit. It was issued on September 30 and Long Island Newsday wrote about it yesterday, more than a month after its release.

Taxpayers and the press should be better informed about this and all audits carried out the New York comptroller, if only to show his office is tough on nonprofits and he's committed to all aspects of watchdogging.

Here are highlight of the findings:

The objective of our examination was to determine whether the Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc. (LIAAC) charged and the Department of Health AIDS Institute (Institute) reimbursed for appropriate expenses under the terms of contract C023121. We examined select expenses during the period July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.

As a Community Service Provider (CSP) since 1986, LIAAC provides services and support for Long Island residents infected and affected by HIV/AIDS or at risk for infection. The contract, valued at $12 million, was for a five year period spanning July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2013. Subsequently, the Department executed a new CSP contract with LIAAC valued at $11.43 million for the period July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2018. [...]

We found LIAAC charged and the Institute reimbursed LIAAC $178,466 for inappropriate or questionable expenses during our examination period. This includes reimbursements to LIAAC for expenses that benefited LINCS; expenses that benefited LIAAC’s CEO and the CEO’s life partner; and other expenses which were inappropriate under the terms and conditions of the contract. 

This includes: 

$52,972 for rental expenses paid to LINCS in excess of market rates. [...]

$26,674 in administrative fees paid to LINCS for which LINCS provided no apparent service. [...]

$31,190 for subcontracts that were not competitively procured, including one with the CEO’s life partner. This conflict of interest, which was not disclosed to the Institute, has existed since 1988. 

$10,722 for executive level employees’ fuel expenses that LIAAC could not support were business-related. 

$43,398 for expenses that were otherwise inappropriate in accordance with contract stipulations.

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