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Comically Named Non-Profit Ignored The Rules, Blew A $1.6M Grant

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Ethan Barton Editor in Chief
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A nonprofit located near Ferguson, Missouri, was awarded $1.6 million by the Department of Justice to promote child safety issues, but then neglected a multitude of federal grant laws and regulations.

The nonprofit ignored federal stipulations intended to ensure that tax dollars are spent efficiently and ethically, including cost analyses, competitive bids for goods and services, and the use of approved contractors, according to a Justice Department inspector general report made public Wednesday.

The non-profit also illegally spent more than $42,000 on unapproved expenses like rent and travel. The St. Louis-based non-profit operates less than eight miles from ground zero of the Ferguson riots.

“We identified weaknesses in [the non-profit’s] grant management activities,” the report said. The organization “did not use approved contractors to the extent specified in its grant award, utilized other­ than-approved entities for certain grant services” and “did not conduct contractor monitoring,” the IG said.

“Further, [the non-profit] did not perform a cost analysis, seek competitive bids, or submit sole source justification” “before procuring services from three contractors,” the report said. Federal grant funds were also used “for unallowable and unapproved costs, including rent, per diem, sick and vacation time, and travel. Overall, in addition to the procurement and personnel issues we identified, we identified $42,275 in questioned costs.”

The non-profit failed to “assess the effectiveness of contractors” it selected and had no detectable method for monitoring the contractors’ work.

The non-profit subleases office space from Contemporary Productions LLC, whose owner founded the nonprofit in 2007. Grant funds were “effectively subsidizing the facility costs of the for-profit corporation Contemporary Productions,” since the non-profit used tax dollars to pay rent, the report said.

Grant funds spent on travel were expended without referencing federal lodging rate standards and to buy a membership to an exclusive airport lounge.

The name of the non-profit is “I Know Better,” or “INOBTR.” And no, we’re not making that up.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.