The objective of the audit was to determine whether the Puerto Rico Department of Education (Puerto Rico DOE) used Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (Restart) program funds for allowable and intended purposes.
We determined that the Puerto Rico DOE did not always use Restart program funds for allowable and intended purposes. Specifically, of the approximately $8.6 million in indirect costs that the Puerto Rico DOE charged to its Restart program grant during our audit period, $2.5 million of it was not allowable. The $2.5 million in unallowable costs that the Puerto Rico DOE charged to the Restart program could have been used for allowable activities that would have assisted the Puerto Rico DOE in restarting school operations, reenrolling students, and reopening public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools affected by the covered disaster. We also found that the Puerto Rico DOE needs to improve its management of technology devices it purchased for students and teachers using Restart program funds, and that it made several unallowable payroll payments (using Restart funds) to 3 teachers included in our statistical random sample.
We made 8 recommendations to address the issues identified, including that it reallocate unallowable indirect costs it charged to the grant and ensure capitalization policies and procedures are followed; that it distribute the unused technology devices to students and teachers in need, locate missing technology devices, perform a technology device inventory, and ensure policies and procedures related to the management of technology devices are followed; and that it determine the total amount of payments incorrectly charged to the Restart program and reallocate the unallowable amount back to the Restart program grant.
Oversight and Monitoring of Grantees