The Nebraska State Auditor’s Office recently completed a review of the underage drinking prevention organization Project Extra Mile. Audit Manager Cindy Janssen says they found several significant issues.
Janssen says, “One of the main issues we had was we felt that some of the expenditures appeared to be conducted for lobbying activities. Lobbying activities are not allowed per federal guidelines. We also had what we considered unallowable expense according to the federal guideline. There were unreasonable expenses that might be ok under the federal guidelines but we didn’t feel were a reasonable use of the federal funds.”
Janssen says federal guidelines are clear that lobbying is prohibited. They have examples of social media posts that were clearly lobbying. They also have a list of items that have other lobbying activities such as attending Liquor Control Commission hearings, legislative committee hearings and meeting with senators.
The unallowable expenses included paying for an annual recognition dinner that totaled just over $4,600. According to guidelines federal funds cannot be spent on entertainment. Janssen says that event was more aligned with entertainment than an educational event. Other unallowable expenses included travel, mileage, updating computer software and insurance. The results of the audit will be turned over to the federal government for their review.