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Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Governor: LEPC Resolved Auditor's Issues

Gov. John de Jongh Jr. said Thursday that deficiencies found last fall in an audit of the Law Enforcement Planning Commission have been addressed, leading to better control of grant money.

Auditors from the Inspector General’s Office agreed that all 25 issues raised in a recently released draft audit report concerning the management of Justice grants by the LEPC were resolved by the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Between October 2005 and September 2010, the LEPC received 34 grants totaling $14,383,254 from the Office of Justice Programs, and another six grants totaling $3,796,433 from the Office of Violence Against Women.

Among the findings of the draft audit report for that period, the commission lacked adequate controls, had staff limitations and was unable to account for all funds. The report suggested steps to alleviate the weaknesses.

De Jongh sent a letter in February to Ferris B. Polk, regional audit manager, acknowledging past problems and saying all corrective actions recommended in the report had been implemented.

The process has greatly improved the LEPC’s administration of its grants, de Jongh said.

“This positive interaction has already increased the knowledge and competency level of its staff and will provide future training opportunities. As a result, compliance with grant guidelines, achievement of grant goals and objectives, and accountability will be greatly enhanced,” the governor wrote in his letter to the agency.

“The issues presented are indeed of a critical nature, and I acknowledge the many contributions that have been made in our community as a result of DOJ grant funding.”

Among the steps taken by the LEPC are:

– the LEPC formally instituted policies and procedures in October 2011 to address the management and administration of its grants, and to strengthen internal controls;
– a Grant Management Policy and Procedure Manual documented those reforms and was distributed to all staff members, as well as Inspector General auditors; and
– the LEPC submitted to the Inspector General’s Office additions to the manual which enhance the controls needed to effectively manage funds sent to the territory.

The Law Enforcement Planning Commission is the local agency responsible for administering Department of Justice grants and overseeing implementation of grant programs that involve criminal justice matters in the territory.

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