L.A. County AIDS office cannot account for $80 million
The Los Angeles County Office of AIDS Programs and Policy cannot account for how more than $80 million in federal and state HIV/AIDS funds was spent in 2001, according to an audit of the organization. The audit, requested by the county board of supervisors, shows that the agency can account for only how much money went to each of eight districts in the county but not how that money was actually spent in those districts. The audit also showed that four districts received more money than they should have, with three receiving less funds than should have been allotted.
"If ever there was any doubt about the need for major structural reform in the accounting of [the Office of AIDS], this whole process should erase that...especially when you can't account for how you've spent taxpayer money," Jason Oliver, government affairs coordinator for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told the Pasadena Star-News. County supervisor Dan Knabe, who called for the audit, is expected on Tuesday to request an investigation into possible conflicts of interest between the county AIDS office and the regional HIV Commission, which determines how to distribute HIV/AIDS funds. He also is expected to ask for a 90-day public review of the audit so that county residents can review the data and voice their concerns about the AIDS office.