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Audit of the Indian Health Service's Internal Controls Over Monitoring of Recipients' Compliance With Requirements of the Indian Health Professions Scholarship Program

Our review found that the Indian Health Service (IHS) did not have adequate internal controls to monitor recipients' compliance with certain requirements of the Indian Health Professions Scholarship program. IHS did not always follow its policies and procedures to verify that recipients completed approved education programs and that recipients were fulfilling their required service obligations. As a result, IHS could not ensure that all recipients were in compliance with program requirements. The Indian Health Professions Scholarship program provides scholarship grants (scholarships) to Indians who are enrolled full or part time in appropriately accredited schools and pursuing courses of study in the health professions. Each recipient of funds must sign a contract with IHS in which he or she agrees to complete an approved education program and fulfill a minimum active duty service obligation of 2 years.

We recommended that IHS follow its policies and procedures to verify that recipients of Indian health professions scholarships complete approved education programs and fulfill required service obligations. IHS concurred with our recommendation and described actions that it had taken or planned to take to address the recommendation.

Filed under: Indian Health Service