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The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference AIDS Office Generally Managed President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Funds and Met Program Goals in Accordance With Award Requirements

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Through its Global HIV/AIDS Program, CDC implemented the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), working with ministries of health and other in-country partners to combat HIV/AIDS by strengthening health systems and building sustainable HIV/AIDS programs in more than 75 countries. Through a 5-year cooperative agreement, CDC awarded PEPFAR funds totaling $13 million to the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference AIDS Office (SACBC) for the budget period June 1, 2009, through May 31, 2010.

SACBC generally managed PEPFAR funds and met program goals in accordance with award requirements. With respect to financial management, of the 33 financial transactions totaling $460,000 that we tested, 25 transactions totaling $442,000 were allowable, 6 transactions totaling $16,000 were unallowable, and 2 travel-related transactions totaling $3,000 were set aside because we were unable to determine whether the transactions were allowable. In addition, SACBC used $25,000 of PEPFAR funds to pay potentially unallowable value-added taxes (VAT) on purchases and did not submit the results of an annual financial audit to HHS's National External Audit Review Center (NEAR) as required by the notice of award (NOA).

Our program management review found that, of the 32 accomplishments sampled from the annual progress report, 2 accomplishments were only partially met. The remaining 30 accomplishments were adequately supported. However, SACBC did not address two of the program goals from its application in the progress report, and the progress report was not submitted on time.

We recommended that SACBC (1) refund to CDC $16,000 of unallowable expenditures;

(2) work with CDC to determine the allowability of the $3,000 related to potentially unallowable travel expenses; (3) work with CDC to resolve whether the $25,000 of VAT was an allowable expenditure under the cooperative agreement; (4) develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that expenditures reported under the cooperative agreement are allowable and that it maintains adequate supporting documentation; (5) develop and implement policies and procedures covering the overall process of collecting, verifying, summarizing, recording, and reporting performance information related to the cooperative agreement and the timely submission of the progress report to CDC; and (6) submit annual audit reports to NEAR in accordance with the NOA. SACBC generally concurred with our recommendations and described actions it has taken to address them.

Filed under: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention