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Thursday, August 26, 2010

California Regional Centers

California Watch reports:

A nonprofit executive awarded state funds to her sister even though the service was available at a lower cost. A chief executive breached a confidential police tipline. And workers spent $900,000 on transportation - purposely spiking the budget to ensure more money the next year.

Those were some of the findings in a Bureau of State Audits report about state oversight of regional centers, nonprofit organizations that spend about $3.4 billion annually to serve 240,000 Californians with developmental disabilities.

Developmental Services oversees the 21 regional centers throughout the state, which contract with other nonprofits that render direct services to clients such as in-home care and transportation.

The audit [PDF] found widespread fear of retaliation among workers for reporting suspected wrongdoing at some regional centers. It reported that millions of contracts are issued without advertising for bids or going through a competitive process.