The D.C. auditor has recommended changes to how the District doles out grants after finding a nonprofit lacked the internal controls to monitor its funds, though it made a “significant contribution” in diffusing city gang disputes.
An audit released late Wednesday found the Peaceoholics group, led by Ward 7 resident Ron Moten, received more than $1.3 million in grants and sub-grants in that were not competitively bid.
Peaceoholics received a total of $13.8 million from government agencies and the Child and Youth Investment Trust Corporation in 2005-2010, most of it during the term of former Mayor Adrian Fenty, Democrat.
Council member Yvette M. Alexander, Ward 7 Democrat, had asked the auditor to look into the Peaceoholics’ financial disclosure forms and potential role in the 2010 mayoral race between Mr. Fenty and current Mayor VIncent C. Gray, Democrat.
Ms. Alexander supported Mr. Gray, while Mr. Moten supported Mr. Fenty.
The auditor did not conclude that the Peaceholics had stolen city funds, and deferred to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics on questions of political activity.
Specific findings in the audit included a $40,580 disbursement from the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services that lacked a valid written contract, incomplete funding agreements between the District and Peaceoholics and commingling of funds in violations of grant agreements.
“Despite the significant contribution that Peaceaholics made to the District of Columbia, we found that grant funding entities did not provide Peaceoholics with the necessary monitoring and support that the organizations needed,” acting D.C. Auditor Yolanda Branche said, noting it also lacked reports on objectives. “As a result, Peaceoholics did not develop the appropriate internal controls or written program objective to verify that all District funds were consistently used for the intended purposes.”
Ms. Branche recommended that the District establish “standard, uniform” grant and sub-grant agreements for government agencies and the youth investment fund.