Auditor calls for return of Illinois Public Media grant money

A recent audit by the inspector general of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has recommended that Illinois Public Media should be asked to return more than $67,000 in federal grant money due to discoveries of accounting errors overestimating non-federal financial support.

Illinois Public Media, the Urbana-based, not-for-profit public media service of the College of Media, reportedly overestimated non-federal financial support by about $1 million, leading to a $67,575 overpayment of community service grant money, according to the News Gazette. 

According to the audit, the CPB’s selection of public television and radio stations to receive community service grants is partly based on how much they claim in non-federal financial support.

The audit also found $8,203 in vinyl record sales revenues from individuals classified as unallowable non-federal financial support at the not-for-profit service and $4,540 in special fund-raising revenues not offset against expenditures.

Additionally, the News Gazette reported there were errors in how indirect administrative support such as security, maintenance, purchasing and human resources was calculated.

The office of the inspector general has advised CPB officials to recover the overpayment, require Illinois Public Media branch WILL TV/FM to identify corrective actions and controls it will take to ensure future compliance and to verify that restricted radio revenues and expenditures were properly identified in the station’s 2019 application for grant money.

In response to the audit on March 15, Illinois Public Media President and CEO Moss Bresnahan said adequate steps have been taken for the future to prevent future errors. He said if CPB makes the decision to seek repayment, it would most likely be subtracted from fiscal year 2021 grant funding.

[email protected]