Head Start: Undercover Testing Finds Fraud and Abuse at Selected Head Start Centers Page: 8 of 30
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percent of its funded enrollment level may have its grant amount
recaptured, withheld, or reduced by OHS. According to HHS, funds for 30
grantees were reduced in 2006. A Head Start grantee may also be
terminated from participation in the program for continuously failing to
meet other performance, education, administrative, and financial
management standards that have been established by HHS.
Allegations of Fraud
and Abuse Involving
Two Head Start
We investigated the allegations of fraud and abuse that we received
involving Head Start nonprofit grantees in the Midwest and Texas. Based
on our investigation, two of the allegations were substantiated. For
example, we were able to substantiate that a Midwest grantee included in
its calculation of nonfederal funding match donations that were not
eligible. However, other allegations could not be confirmed based on
documents we were able to obtain. In some cases it was not possible for
us to verify information contained in Head Start records; therefore we
cannot conclude whether allegations could be substantiated. As we found
during the course of our undercover investigations, records kept by Head
Start grantees could be manipulated in order to make a child appear
eligible for services.
Texas Grantee Allegations
In Texas, individuals we spoke with alleged that the grantee enrolled more
than 10 percent of over-income families in order to meet enrollment
requirements. An aggregate accounting of all centers operated directly by
one grantee is permitted under the law for determination of the 10 percent
over-income limit. This allegation was not substantiated, but we found that
some of the grantees' centers enrolled more than 10 percent of over-
income families. Across all grantee sites, five percent of families were
registered as over-income. Based on records obtained from the grantee, it
appears that 9 of the grantees' 28 centers had more than 10 percent over-
income families enrolled. According to the documentation we reviewed,
the percentage of over-income families in the 28 centers ranged from
centers with no over-income enrollments to one center where 44 percent
of the 18 families it enrolled were over-income. (See table 1.)
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/m1/8/: accessed May 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.