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Baltimore City Health Department not effectively monitoring grant funds, Comptroller says

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BALTIMORE — The Department of Audits recently revealed that the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) isn't properly keeping track of grant subrecipients, and can't guarantee that grant funds are being used in accordance with federal and state regulations, the Comptroller's Office said Thursday. 

The Biennial Performance Audit was presented to the Board of Estimates on January 18, 2023 and covered fiscal years 2020 through 2021.

During that time, BCHD received approximately $224 million in both federal and state funds, but only $74 million of the funds were given to subrecipients, the audit showed. 

The audit also reveled that the City only monitored one program for federal funding during this period. They did not monitor subrecipients who were awarded any other federal or state grants.

Without effective monitoring of grant subrecipients, there's a risk of future funding for BCHD's essential programs being withheld, or even terminated. 

Comptroller Bill Henry stressed the importance of these funds in the statement.  

"These federal and State dollars are a crucial lifeline for many of our City's frontline health initiatives. The Mayor and the City administration must ensure that the Health Department can provide the necessary grant oversight," said Comptroller Bill Henry. "Literally, lives are at stake, we can't lose sight of that."

The Baltimore City Health Department plans to respond by implementing new requirements for grant subrecipient monitoring by June 30.  

The full audit can be found on the Comptroller's website.

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