While BLM spokesman Tom Gorey seemingly frets that it will “complicate national efforts to make sure there is enough off-range holding capacity for wild horses and burros that are removed off public ranges,” he failed to mention that the final report of the Department of Interior Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit of Utah Correctional Industries (UCI), in which about $2 million dollars in costs submitted (and paid with taxpayer’s money) was questioned as being seemingly illegal, was issued Sept. 27, 2013. That’s almost a year ago.
In this report, the OIG pointed out that “we found that UCI’s accounting systems do not fully comply with the standards set forth in 43 C.F.R. § 12.60 for financial reporting, budget control, and allowable costs.”
Why did it take the BLM about 6 years to figure out something was wrong with the accounting at Gunnison prison? And why didn’t the BLM fire this contractor (rescind the contract) last year?
Basically, it was uncovered that this BLM contractor overcharged the government by about $2 million dollars. Why is the news twisted to make it seem like Utah Correctional Industries just decided not to renew their contract with the BLM because they weren’t making enough profit?
Has the BLM even bothered to review the facility reports and mortality reports from Gunnison? Or was the BLM only focusing on the money? More mismanagement by the Bureau of Land Management.
And now, after 80 deaths (and perhaps more by now?) of wild mares being shipped to a feedlot in Scott City, Kansas, another 1,500 wild horses need to be shipped out of Gunnison by October 6th. Well, the BLM has had a year to find new places for these horses.
Does anyone recall this OIG report being brought up at the National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting? I also don’t see anything about Gunnsion Prison on the “Quick Facts” page of BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program website yet, either. So much for being “quick.”
The entire BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program is wildly out of control.
Here are a few excerpts from the report:
“We questioned costs that we re not allowable under terms of the agreement and applicable provisions of the C.F.R. In addition, we identified costs as unsupported when sufficient documentation related to the costs was not available for review. Of the $5,338,880 reported by UCI, we questioned $1,076,464 and classified $928,089 as unsupported.”
“A UCI official told us that the amount reported was based on the total amount funded by BLM and that UCI did not bill BLM based on recorded costs. UCI was unable to provide any documentation to support the composition of the expenditures it reported. “
“Section III.A.6 of the cooperative agreement states: “[T]he recipient agrees to provide facilities that conform to BLM guidelines and specifications at no cost to the BLM.” Based on this language and the provision that UCI would fund a share of the program costs itself, we questioned the $125,588 of recorded building and grounds costs.”
You can read the entire Department of Interior, Office of Inspector General Financial Assistance Audit for Cooperative Agreement No. JSA071001/L08AC13913 Between the Utah Correctional Industries and the Bureau of Land Management HERE.