The City of Atlanta mismanaged federal grants designed to combat crime and rebuild poor neighborhoods plagued by illegal drug activity, federal auditors say.
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The federal Weed and Seed program, which ran from 1991 to 2011, was a national crime prevention and community revitalization initiative. Atlanta’s Weed and Seed program was geared toward reducing crime by 5 percent in English Avenue, Mechanicsville, Pittsburgh, and Vine City through law enforcement, crime prevention and neighborhood revitalization. The Atlanta program ended in 2012 when its final grant expired.
Source: City of Atlanta and U.S. Office of Justice
What the Weed and Seed audit found:
The audit began in September 2011. Among the findings:
— The city paid grant expenses to consultants and other vendors without detailed and original receipts.
— The city made advance payments to contractors and other recipients but never accounted for how the funds were actually spent.
— The report found weaknesses in internal controls and monitoring of sub-contractors.
— The auditors could not determine whether the city had paid the required matching funds.
— The audit questioned nearly $32,000 paid to the district attorney’s office for “Teen Court” in June 2009 just before that grant’s termination date. The Fulton County DA’s office said the money was used in accordance with the grant application.