BY MAIRE O’NEILL
The Department of Energy has written to the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities to set forth the terms to resolve “cost allowability issues” raised in a special audit for the period July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2018 by the Office of the State Auditor and in a DOE Office of the Inspector General report.
The letter notes that the DOE awarded a grant to RCLC for a 5-year project period, from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2020. The approved budget for the grant was $100,000 a year for a total of $500,000 and $300,000 was obligated FY2015, FY2016 and FY2017).
The IG Report found that the RCLC comingled DOE funds with funds received from other sources and engaged in activities prohibited by the U.S. Code and the terms of the grant agreement. It concluded that RCLC was unable to demonstrate how DOE funds were used or determine the extent to which RCLC spent DOE funds on unallowable activities, and recommended that DOE Environmental Management seek appropriate reimbursement.
“After thoroughly reviewing documentation submitted by RCLC to DOE, and the OIG and OSA reports, the DOE determined that the documentation provided by RCLC was sufficient to demonstrate that of the $300,000 in questioned costs, DOE reimbursed RCLC $15,767.32 for unallowable activities. Accordingly, DOE is hereby directing RCLC to repay $15,767.32 to the DOE within 30 calendar days of the date of this letter,” the letter states.
RCLC board members have expressed optimism that the DOE grant will be restored, however, at their June meeting, the budget for the next fiscal year which begins today, July 1, was approved and did not include the $100,000 amount.
Chair Henry Roybal told the Los Alamos Reporter Wednesday that the RCLC has not yet received confirmation that the grant will be restored. The RCLC has over the last several months asked the congressional delegation to assist in getting the grant monies reinstated.