ST. LOUIS (AP) - A new audit has found that a St. Louis agency that administers federal Head Start grants made nearly $340,000 in improper expenditures, mostly because of bad bookkeeping.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the audit by the Office of Inspector General recommends that the agency, YWCA of Metropolitan St. Louis, pay back the money.
Wrongdoing is not alleged. The discrepancies were within grant years 2008 and 2009.
YWCA CEO Adrian Bracy says in a letter to federal officials that discrepancies occurred after the agency's chief financial officer died suddenly.
The YWCA received more than $63 million in federal grants from 2007 to 2009 to create Head Start centers and slots for low-income preschoolers in independent child care centers and through subcontracts with the Urban League of St. Louis.
Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich released the results of his audit in the last hour. The most egregious issue he uncovered was that the district ran up more than 1.2 million dollars in extra construction costs. Other problems found in the district include improper attendance controls, inconsistent inventory of the school's property, and a conflict of interest for the adviser handling bond financing.
This audit comes just five weeks before voters decide on proposition S. That would provide over 38 million dollars to the district for a several construction and security projects.
A fair rating indicates that district needs to improve operations in several areas.