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NCJ Number: 64244 Find in a Library
Title: MISMANAGING FEDERAL FUNDS
Journal: BUREAUCRAT  Volume:6  Issue:4  Dated:(WINTER 1977)  Pages:66-68
Author(s): P COHEN
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS NARRATIVE REPORT DESCRIBES THE CASE OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR PHIN COHEN, WHOSE STATEMENTS ABOUT MISMANAGEMENT OF FEDERAL GRANT FUNDS HAVE PROMPTED A FEDERAL AUDIT OF ALL THE UNIVERSITY'S GOVERNMENT GRANTS.
Abstract: IN 1971-72, DR. COHEN, THEN AN ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF NUTRITION, WAS PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR FOR A RESEARCH PROJECT SUPPORTED BY FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS. COHEN SAID THAT THE UNIVERSITY GAVE HIM A BLANK EXPENDITURE REPORT FORM TO SIGN. WHEN HE ASKED FOR SPECIFIC EXPENDITURE INFORMATION, THE NUTRITION DEPARTMENT REFUSED TO PROVIDE IT. HE DID NOT RECEIVE THE REQUESTED COMPUTER PRINTOUTS UNTIL MARCH 1975. THE PRINTOUTS REVEALED BOTH SYSTEMATIC MISMANAGEMENT AND SIPHONING OFF OF FUNDS TO INAPPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES. IN MAY 1975, COHEN'S REAPPOINTMENT OFFER WAS WITHDRAWN BY THE UNIVERSITY. HE THEN WENT TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH) IN ORDER TO PROMPT AN AUDIT OF HARVARD'S GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED RESEARCH PROJECTS. THE RESULTING NIH REPORT OUTLINED SIX DELIBERATE OFFENSES: (1) CHARGING DIRECT COST BUDGET FOR INDIRECT COSTS ALREADY COVERED, (2) POOLING GRANT FUNDS, (3) CHARGING FOR PERSONNEL WHO DID NOT WORK ON THE GRANT PROJECTS, (4) MAKING FALSE AND INACCURATE PERSONNEL EFFORT REPORTS, (5) CHARGING FOR MORE TIME THAN SPENT, AND (6) PROVIDING INADEQUATE INFORMATION TO PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS. AS A RESULT OF THIS AUDIT, HARVARD RETURNED $132,000 TO NIH IN JUNE 1976. COHEN CONSIDERED THIS MONEY TO BE ONLY A SYMPTOM OF GREATER ABUSE OF FEDERAL GRANT FUNDS. HE FILED SUIT AGAINST THE UNIVERSITY AND TWO OF ITS EMPLOYEES, CHARGING MISUSE OF FEDERAL GRANTS AND REFUSAL OF HIS REAPPOINTMENT BECAUSE OF HIS DRAWING ATTENTION TO THE PROBLEMS. AS A RESULT OF COHEN'S STATEMENTS AND SUIT, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE WILL AUDIT THE $67 MILLION WHICH HARVARD RECEIVES FROM THE GOVERNMENT FOR RESEARCH. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Accountability; Employee grievances; Financial management; Fraud; Grants or contracts; Program abuse; Program financing; Research programs
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64244

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