November 15, 2010
Continuing Conflict Over the Social Innovation Fund
The Social Innovation Fund, according to The New York Times, is being audited by the inspector general with oversight of the Fund's administrator, the federal government's Corporation for National and Community Service. Specifically, the Fund's grant process is currently under scrutiny. The process was roundly criticized last summer when accountability concerns and potential conflicts of interest were raised, about which we blogged. According to an inspector general spokesman, the Corporation itself requested an audit. As part of the audit, experts that reviewed the grant applications will be interviewed.
As also reported this past summer by The New York Times, potential conflicts of interest arose when the Fund awarded a $5 million grant to New Profit Inc., a nonprofit organization with employment ties to the Fund's executive director, Paul Carttar. Similarly, a $4.2 million grant was awarded to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a foundation at which Patrick Covington, the official who oversees the Corporation for National and Community Service, was previously employed. As a result of the criticism of the lack of transparency surrounding these and other grants it awarded, the Fund eventually released more information about its grant process.
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