Legislative Auditor finds lack of nonprofit grant oversight at the state level

Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) has a timely report out on the (mis)management of nonprofit grants by state government. The news is not good.

The OLA’s report, running some 80 pages, was issued last week and covers the management of state grants to nonprofit by three state agencies: Administration, Education, and Public Safety.

An Office of Grants Management (OGM) is housed within the state’s Department of Administration, meant to oversee the grantmaking activities of other state agencies.

The OLA’s headline finding,

OLA has found pervasive noncompliance with OGM policies by state agencies in recent years, signaling issues with accountability and oversight.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, “Minnesota ‘failed to do the very basics’ of grant oversight.”

The OLA report does not mention the nonprofit Feeding Our Future or the associated fraud scandal. The OLA’s report on that topic is expected this summer.

Not surprisingly, Feeding Our Future did come up in the discussion when the OLA presented the report to the legislature this week.

As the legislature puts together the state government’s budget this year, we will be watching for what safeguards (if any) they put around the $billions of dollars in grants given out each year.