RALEIGH — The N.C. State Auditor’s Office has cited issues with the monitoring of $635 million in federal recovery funds by the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office known as NCPRO.
NCPRO was established by Gov. Roy Cooper in May 2020 and is housed under the Office of State Budget and Management oversight. NCPRO was set up to oversee the State Fiscal Recovery Fund established by the legislature during the pandemic.
The audit report found that NCPRO had distributed $635 million of State Fiscal Recovery Funds “with limited monitoring” and “without ensuring recipients had a method to measure results.”
NCPRO “did not design and implement procedures to ensure that State Fiscal Recovery Funds were being spent in accordance with State Fiscal Recovery Fund legislation or that programs operated by recipients of State Fiscal Recovery Funds were achieving their legislatively intended results,” the press release for the audit states. “As a result, there was an increased risk that recipients could have misused the funds without the misuse being detected and corrected timely.”
In addition, the audit claims NCPRO was “limited in its ability to know whether funds were achieving legislatively intended results and take timely corrective action if necessary.”
The auditor’s office recommended NCPRO should develop policies and procedures to correct the lack of monitoring, including the independent verification of recipient spending.
In its response, the Office of State Budget and Management agreed with the audit’s results and indicated it would discuss corrective actions, some of which were already planned, in process, or had already occurred following the audit.
The audit report on NCPRO follows a statewide audit published earlier this year that delved into federal awards totaling $38.2 billion that included findings of inadequate monitoring of Coronavirus Relief Funds by NCPRO.
Similarly in the previous year’s statewide audit, NCPRO was cited as failing to properly monitor $2.92 billion in federal funds used for COVID-19 expenditures. The audit says NCPRO did not review subrecipient expenditures or complete separate monitoring activities for high-risk subrecipients nor did it review subrecipient audit reports or direct expenditures of state entities.