States slow DHS grant disbursement

Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General

An inspector general's report expected for release early next month says the Homeland Security Department has done a good job of distributing grants to state and local governments.

The report, being reviewed by Homeland Security officials, concludes that delays in getting money to local agencies are largely at the state level -- and sometimes for good reason, said Clark Kent Ervin, DHS inspector general.

"In certain instances, the states were reviewing the procedures and making sure that there were processes in place to make sure that the money would go for the proper purposes [and] there's a structure in place to prevent redundancy and duplication and overlap," said Ervin, after testifying before the House Government Reform Committee's Government Efficiency and Financial Management Subcommittee.

Ervin said his office produced the report as part of its general oversight work with the department. "It's incumbent upon us to review issues like that of great importance and so in a normal course of business we did that work," he said.

The report shows a representative sampling of states, including California, Texas, New York, Florida, Ohio, Michigan and others.

Many local government officials have argued they haven't received homeland security grants promised to them. The U.S. Conference of Mayors released a survey earlier this year showing a majority of cities hadn't received any funding. DHS officials say they had been dispersing funds to the states, and that the logjam occurs between state and local organizations.

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