State did not track grants spent by Raleigh nonprofit, audit finds

jstancill@newsobserver.comDecember 3, 2012 

— A Raleigh nonprofit that promoted academic enrichment programs for girls could not document how it spent state grant money, according to a state investigative audit released Monday.

The organization, Real G.I.R.L.S., Inc., received $98,714 in 2010-11 from the state Department of Public Instruction’s 21st Century Community Learning Center program. But the nonprofit’s executive director couldn’t provide documentation that the money was used properly, said the report from the Office of the State Auditor.

“Instead, she provided an assortment of invoices, register receipts, and other documents that could not be matched to any of RGI’s reimbursement requests,” the audit said.

Its founder and executive director is LaShon Ormond, according to the website. A message left for Ormond Monday was not returned.

The audit also faulted the state Department of Public Instruction for processing payments to the nonprofit without requiring documentation of reimbursement requests. The grantee merely had to log on to an online system to request reimbursement.

In a response to the audit, Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson said the department has started to permanently suspend future grant funds for Real G.I.R.L.S., Inc. and has requested repayment for any expenses that cannot be documented.

The audit found that the nonprofit was reimbursed for an expense totaling $4,250 for T-shirts, polo shirts and canvas bags, but that the T-shirt vendor was paid only $1,500.

“We question the need for 450 custom shirts and 75 bags as there were only 30 campers and seven camp counselors for the five-day camp,” the audit said.

The audit findings were referred to the Internal Revenue Service and the N.C. Department of Revenue.

Stancill: 919-829-4559

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