Head Start: Undercover Testing Finds Fraud and Abuse at Selected Head Start Centers Page: 11 of 30
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enrolled in both the grantee and delegate sites; however, we were not able
to determine the justification for moving the children between locations.
For the Midwest Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program, we were able
to confirm through documents obtained from the grantee that in 2008
more than 60 children were moved from one center to other centers with
vacancies at the end of the grant period. It is not clear whether the
students were physically moved to the other centers or whether they were
moved only on paper. According to OHS officials we spoke with, Migrant
and Seasonal Head Start grantees are only required to meet the funded
enrollment targets for any month of the grant period-unlike Head Start
grantees who are required to maintain funded enrollment levels
throughout their program year. The grantee reported that it reached full
enrollment targets for 2008. Thirty-nine children were enrolled at both
grantee and delegate centers during the year. We also found that in 2004
an informant alleged that the Midwest Migrant and Seasonal Head Start
program knowingly falsified reports by inflating enrollment numbers. GAO
obtained a copy of an internal investigation conducted in 2005 by the
organization that contracted out the operation of services to this
organization to serve as a grantee which determined that 130 children
were double counted during the grant year. Records indicate that this
report was forwarded to OHS for their review; however, OHS officials first
told GAO that they did not have record of receiving this report. Officials at
OHS later told GAO that the report was forwarded to the HHS OIG for
their review. In August 2010, OHS issued a Program Instruction stating
that Migrant programs must ensure that they have systems in place to
report an unduplicated count of children even if they move through their
service area during the course of the year. It recommended that in order
for Migrant and Seasonal grantees to accurately report their funded
enrollment, without counting children more than once during a budget
year, those grantees that do not already assign unique identifiers to
enrolled children do so beginning with their fiscal year 2011 grants.
An individual we spoke with alleged that the grantee had purchased
supplies and materials for the Head Start centers and during this process
had asked the vendor to back-date invoices in order to make the
expenditure appear as though it had taken place in a previous grant year.
We substantiated that the grantee requested the backdating of certain
invoices. We obtained documents showing grantee employees requesting
via facsimile the backdating of these invoices. We requested that the
vendor of these supplies and materials provide us with information related
to these purchases. The vendor declined to provide GAO with copies of
these records; therefore we could not investigate the allegation further.
Subsequently, we spoke with representatives of this grantee who
GAO-10-1049 Head Start
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Head Start: Undercover Testing Finds Fraud and Abuse at Selected Head Start Centers, report, September 28, 2010; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc296264/m1/11/: accessed May 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.