Los Angeles County Office of AIDS Programs and Policy Cannot Account for $80M in Expenditures, Audit Finds
The Los Angeles County Office of AIDS Programs and Policy cannot account for the expenditure of more than $80 million in state and federal HIV/AIDS funds last year, according to a report issued by the Auditor Controller's Office, the Pasadena Star News reports. The audit, requested by the county Board of Supervisors, found that the agency accounted for allocations for each of the county's eight districts but could not account for the expenditure of the funds. Officials with the county Department of Health Services, which administers the county AIDS office, allocated more funds than required to half of the districts, and three districts did not receive adequate funds, the audit found. According to the audit, only one district -- Antelope Valley -- received its determined share of 1.4% of the funds.
The audit has raised "red flags" about the county AIDS office and has "caught the attention" of some public officials and AIDS advocates. "If ever there was any doubt about the need for major structural reform in the accounting of (the Office of AIDS), this whole process should erase that ... especially when you can't account for how you've spent taxpayer money," Jason Oliver, government affairs coordinator for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said. County Supervisor Don Knabe, who led the call for the audit, today plans to request an investigation of alleged "conflicts of interest" within the county AIDS office and the HIV Commission, the office's legislative body. He also plans to ask for a 90-day public review of the audit to allow county residents to voice their concerns about the office (Rester, Pasadena Star News, 8/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.