Audit Report

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Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant

Our objective was to determine:

(a) whether the Denver Department of Public Safety is complying with expenditure requirements under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant,
(b) whether the department properly reported grant expenditures to the grant-governing authority, and
(c)
whether the Denver Police Department made the appropriate determination regarding the subrecipient status of the District Attorney’s Office.

    The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program is the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. The grant provides states, tribes, and local governments with critical funding necessary to support a wide range of program areas — including law enforcement, prosecution, indigent defense, courts, crime prevention and education, corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, crime victim and witness initiatives, mental health programs, behavioral programs, and crisis intervention.

    This audit reviewed two justice assistance grant awards within the city’s Department of Public Safety — one award to the Denver Police Department and another award to the Denver Sheriff Department.

    We found all expenditures in our sample were allowable, according to grant requirements and federal regulations. However, we also noted the following compliance issues.

    The Denver Police and Sheriff Departments Submitted Several Grant Reports Late

    Specifically, the Denver Police Department submitted five of 21 reports late, and the Denver Sheriff Department submitted seven of nine reports late.

    The Denver Police Department Did Not Take Appropriate Measures to Identify Subrecipients of Grant Funding

    The Denver Police Department never completed the city’s required “Subrecipient vs. Contractor” worksheet, which would document the District Attorney’s Office’s status as a grant subrecipient.

    1.1 Perform Cross-Training for Grant-Reporting Duties – The Denver Police Department should plan for the unexpected loss of key staff members by cross-training employees on grant-reporting duties in case the primary person departs.

    Agency Response: Agree, Implementation Date Aug. 1, 2020

    1.2 Increase the Priority for On-Time Reporting – The Denver Sheriff Department should take steps to increase the priority of on-time grant reporting — such as including the timing of reports in employees’ performance metrics, creating desk-level procedures for grant reporting, or using calendar reminders to inform staff when report due dates are coming up.

    Agency Response: Agree, Implementation Date July 31, 2020

    2.1 Complete Required Worksheet – The Denver Police Department should complete the “Subrecipient vs. Contractor” worksheet associated with the city’s Fiscal Accountability Rule 9.2 to determine whether the District Attorney’s Office is a subrecipient of its Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant funding and to document this decision. To determine proper classification, the police department could consult with the U.S. Department of Justice and/or other city agencies, such as the City Attorney’s Office or the Department of Finance.

    Agency Response: Agree, Implementation Date Aug. 1, 2020

    2.2 Report Subrecipient Determination – If the results of the “Subrecipient vs. Contractor” worksheet indicate the District Attorney’s Office is a subrecipient of Denver Police Department grant funds, the police department should report the District Attorney’s Office as a subrecipient in all future reports of ongoing grants and in all future grant applications for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.

    Agency Response: Agree, Implementation Date Aug. 1, 2020

    The objective of our audit of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, awarded to the Denver Department of Public Safety, was to determine compliance with grant regulations. I am pleased to present the results of this audit.

    The audit found all tested expenditures were allowable. However, we also found both the Denver Police Department and the Denver Sheriff Department submitted some of their grant reports late. Also, we found the police department had not completed the city’s worksheet for determining whether the District Attorney’s Office was a subrecipient of grant funding.

    By implementing recommendations for stronger controls over reporting timeliness and by gaining a better understanding of the District Attorney’s Office’s subrecipient status, the Department of Public Safety will be better equipped to ensure the city is in compliance with grant requirements.

    This performance audit is authorized pursuant to the City and County of Denver Charter, Article V, Part 2, Section 1, “General Powers and Duties of Auditor.” We conducted this performance audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.

    We extend our appreciation to the personnel in the Department of Public Safety who assisted and cooperated with us during the audit. For any questions, please feel free to contact me at 720-913-5000.

    Follow-up report

    A follow-up report is forthcoming. 

    Audit Team: Dawn Wiseman, Cody Schulte, Anna Hansen, Marc Hoffman
    Methodological Support: Sam Gallaher, William Morales