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The Three Affiliated Tribes Improperly Administered Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Funds for Fiscal Years 2010 Through 2014

Of the $5.7 million in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grant funds that the Administration for Children and Families awarded to the Three Affiliated Tribes (TAT) for Federal fiscal years 2010 through 2014, TAT did not administer LIHEAP grant funds totaling $1.2 million in compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and guidance. TAT is a federally recognized Native American tribe located in North Dakota. The errors we identified occurred because TAT did not have sufficient internal controls in place to prevent the errors and because TAT staff circumvented existing internal controls. These funds could have been used to provide additional benefits to eligible LIHEAP beneficiaries.

We recommended that TAT refund to the Federal Government $1.2 million for unallowable or unsupported grant funds and that the tribe develop and implement a number of policies and procedures and internal controls. TAT did not directly agree or disagree with our recommendations, but it described corrective actions that it had taken or planned to take and requested specific documentation supporting our recommended refund. We have provided that documentation and maintain that all of our findings and the associated recommendations remain valid.

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Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services | 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201