HARRISBURG (news release) – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today outlined his plans for an independent review of a $10 million state grant to the host committee for the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
“No matter what the use of state funds – whether for schools, for a state agency operation, or for support of a major national event that generates economic benefits – the public has a right to know that those funds were spent appropriately and lawfully,” DePasquale said.
“I have directed my team to conduct a thorough review of the grant agreement that provided $10 million in state funds to support the event.
“As part of my review, I will scrutinize the grant agreement to determine if it contained appropriate conditions to protect the interest of taxpayers.
“I appreciate that former Gov. Ed Rendell, who served as chairman of the host committee, has already reached out to me and has offered to make himself available to my team during this review.”
DePasquale said if he finds the grant agreement was not adequate to ensure the proper use of state funds, he will recommend changes to state contracting and grant procedures.
“We must ensure that there are adequate procedures up-front in any contract or grant agreement to ensure that all parties know the rules,” DePasquale said. “Such procedures not only protect the taxpayer, but they also afford protections for recipients of state funds.”
As part of the review, DePasquale said he will verify if the host committee kept state funds segregated from monies raised from private individuals, organizations or businesses.
“Such segregation of funds helps prevent state tax dollars from being used for purposes other than those permitted in the grant agreement,” DePasquale said.
In addition to the grant agreement review, DePasquale said his staff will evaluate host committee receipts and other documents to determine whether the state funds were used for payments for approved purposes.
On Monday, DePasquale received written requests for a review of the grant from Gov. Tom Wolf and senators Scarnati, Corman and Browne.