Report 97115 Summary - May 1998

Los Angeles County


The Office of AIDS Programs and Policy Can Improve Its Management of Grant Funds

Results in Brief

When allocating and spending funds for programs that address the needs of citizens living with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the Office of AIDS Programs and Policy (OAPP) for Los Angeles (L.A.) County generally follows the service priorities established by the local AIDS commission. However, the OAPP cannot ensure that it spends grant funds as the funding sources intend because it lacks an accurate time-reporting and cost-allocation system to properly charge its personnel costs to the appropriate federal or state grants. Further, the OAPP cannot be certain that its contractors spend AIDS funds as specified by federal and state grant programs.

Established in L.A. County in 1985 to administer AIDS services, the OAPP uses its grant funds to foster partnerships with the community in order to change the course of the epidemic and make certain that people living with AIDS receive needed services. These services range from child care and mental health services to outpatient medical care and transportation. Our audit focused on the OAPP's ability to allocate its available resources correctly and ensure that AIDS funds are spent appropriately.

In assessing whether the OAPP itself spends funds as the grant sources intend, we noted the following weaknesses in its use of funds for personnel costs:

Further, in evaluating the OAPP's monitoring of service contractors, we found that it cannot ensure contractors spend AIDS funds as the funding sources intended. Specifically, we noted the following shortcomings in the monitoring system: Recommendations

To ensure that it properly charges personnel costs to federal and state programs and that it uses funds only for AIDS services, the OAPP should do the following:

To increase its monitoring of contracts and to make sure its contractors provide appropriate AIDS services to eligible clients, the OAPP should consider implementing the following changes: Agency Comments

The Office of AIDS Programs and Policy concurs with all of our findings and recommendations. Further, the office is taking steps to implement our recommendations.