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$1.17 Billion in Questionable Spending: Washington State’s COVID-19 Funding Fiasco

A sign on a door points to the main entrance of the state auditor's office, Thursday, April 16, 2015, in Olympia, Wash. Elected officials in the state called on Auditor Troy Kelley to step down following his indictment by a federal grand jury on charges of filing false tax returns, attempted obstruction of a civil lawsuit and possession of stolen property. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

Audit Finds Flaws in Washington State Agency’s COVID-19 Funding

Agencies Failed to Follow Rules or Report Spending

According to WashingTonExaminer, A recent audit looked at how some state agencies in Washington used federal money meant to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. The audit found that 11 agencies didn’t follow the rules or didn’t report how they spent the money. This means that about $1.17 billion might not have been used correctly.

The audit found that some agencies did a bad job keeping track of how they spent the money. For example, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families didn’t keep good records of how it used the money for child care and help for families in need. The Department of Commerce also didn’t do a good job tracking how it gave money to other organizations.

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$1.17 Billion in Questionable Spending: Washington State’s COVID-19 Funding Fiasco(PHOTO: Lindsey Wasson for Crosscut)

Audit’s Findings Spark Call for Accountability in Public Spending

The audit’s findings are important because they show that we need to make sure that public money is used correctly. The federal government might ask state agencies to explain how they used the money or even ask for some of the money back. Since the audit was published, state agencies have made changes to do a better job using the money they were given.

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