Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#59: Who and How are Your Grant Applications Authorized?

City of San Luis ObispoSan Luis Obispo image via WikipediaGrant writer Jean Cross is being investigated for fraud. There's not enough information in this article to determine whether this grant writer's procedures were sloppy or actually fraudulent, but it does make one pause. Two questions come to mind. (See below.)

San Luis Obispo County’s website | 07/20/2008 | Local woman target of D. A. inquiry: "The Riverside County group Cross was working for included numerous Riverside County schools as well as the area YMCA. She wrote a federal grant application on their behalf that was for programs for school-age children overseen by the Indio Youth Task Force.

According to a story published July 13 in the Palm Springs Desert Sun, Cross allegedly used 33 forged signatures on the grant application. The Task Force decided to send back the grant money because of concerns about the content of the grant application after it was awarded.

Some Task Force members contend that Cross was not authorized to use their “wet signatures,” transferable signatures sometimes used for official documents, without their knowing the contents of the application. Cross’ attorney rejects that. “Forgery is a crime that involves fraudulent intent to do something,” Reiss said. “She had no fraudulent intent to do something. She had a positive intent to do something for a lot of kids.”

“There’s no criminal activity, and that’s an accurate statement,” Reiss said. “We have been totally transparent with the Riverside District Attorney’s Office and its chief investigating officer.”

My questions:
  • When you write a grant for a coalition, do you see all the signatures on the MOU or do you trust that the lead agency has them on-file?
  • Does the person authorizing submission of your application review it or delegate the review? If they delegate, has it ever backfired on you?
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