oversight

Tennessee Recovery Act Audit Internal Controls over Selected Funds

Published by the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General on 2009-12-15.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

      U.S. Department of Education
       Office of Inspector General

 American Recovery and
 Reinvestment Act of 2009
           Tennessee Recovery Act Audit
       Internal Controls over Selected Funds




               Tennessee State Capitol


ED-OIG/A04J0010                          December 2009
                           UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                                  OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

                                                                                                                             Audit Services
                                                                                                                                Region IV


                                                         December 15, 2009

Dr. Timothy K. Webb
Commissioner of Education
Tennessee Department of Education
710 James Robertson Parkway
Andrew Johnson Tower, 6th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243-0382


Dear Dr. Webb:

This final audit report, Control Number ED-OIG/A04J0010, presents the results of our review of the
designed systems of State-level internal control over American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds in
Tennessee.

If you have any additional comments or information that you believe may have a bearing on the
resolution of this audit, you should send them directly to the following Education Department official,
who will consider them before taking final Departmental action on this audit:

                                          Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Ph.D
                                      Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
                                              U.S. Department of Education
                                                 400 Maryland Ave S.W.
                                                      LBJ, 3W315
                                                 Washington, DC 20202

It is the policy of the U. S. Department of Education to expedite the resolution of audits by initiating
timely action on the findings and recommendations contained therein. Therefore, receipt of your
comments within 30 days would be appreciated.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552), reports issued by the Office of
Inspector General are available to members of the press and general public to the extent information
contained therein is not subject to exemptions in the Act.

                                                               Sincerely,

                                                               /s/
                                                               Denise M. Wempe
                                                               Regional Inspector General for Audit

  The Department of Education's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational
                                                    excellence and ensuring equal access.
                    Acronyms and Abbreviations


ARRA          American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

CFDA          Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

C.F.R.        Code of Federal Regulations

Comptroller   Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury

Department    U.S. Department of Education

ED            U.S. Department of Education

IDEA          Individuals with Disability Education Act, Part B

LEA           Local Educational Agency

OIG           Office of Inspector General

OMB           Office of Management and Budget

SEA           State Educational Agency

SFSF          State Fiscal Stabilization Fund

TDOE          Tennessee Department of Education

TDHS          Tennessee Department of Human Services

Title I       Title I, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

TRAM          Office of Tennessee Recovery Act Management

VR            Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants
Audit Report
ED-OIG/A04J0010                                                                                  Page 1 of 8
                                        Tennessee Recovery Act Audit
                                    Internal Controls over Selected Funds
                                            ED-OIG/A04J0010

                                                  PURPOSE
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) places a heavy emphasis on
accountability and transparency, and in doing so, increases the responsibilities of the agencies that
are impacted by the Act. Overall, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) is responsible
for ensuring that education-related ARRA funds reach intended recipients and achieve intended
results. This includes effective implementation and control of funds at the Federal level, ensuring
that recipients understand requirements and have proper controls in place for 1) administering and
reporting ARRA funds, and 2) promptly identifying and mitigating instances of fraud, waste, and
abuse of the funds.

The purpose of our review was to determine whether the Tennessee Department of Education
(TDOE), Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS), and Governor’s Office of Tennessee
Recovery Act Management (TRAM) had designed systems of internal control that were sufficient to
provide reasonable assurance of compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and guidance. This
report provides the results of our review. We focused our review on the design of State level
controls over data quality, cash management, subrecipient monitoring, and use of funds. The design
should ensure the proper administration of ARRA funds for Title I, Part A of the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act (Title I), Individuals with Disability Education Act, Part B (IDEA),
Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants (VR), and the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF). We
also conducted work at three local educational agencies (LEAs) in Tennessee and where deemed
necessary, the results of that work were used to support conclusions on State-level controls
presented in this report.

                                                  RESULTS

We found that the State of Tennessee is in the process of planning its internal control environment
over ARRA funds. Nothing came to our attention that would indicate that TDOE’s current efforts
in developing a control environment are not adequate. However, based on our limited review, we
found that TDOE needs to improve its communication with LEAs to ensure awareness of reporting
requirements for suspected fraud, and the reporting procedures for estimating the number of jobs
created or retained, programmatic performance, and financial data. TDOE concurred with the
finding and the related recommendations. The full text of TDOE’s comments is included as an
attachment to the report.

In our review of the three LEAs, we found nothing that would indicate that the LEAs did not have
sufficient controls in place to manage ARRA funds for Title I, IDEA, and SFSF funds.1 However,
we found that at the Jackson-Madison County School System, the Madison County Finance
Department had not resolved findings from its Fiscal Year 20082 Office of Management and Budget

1
  Vocational Rehabilitation ARRA funds were not reviewed at the subrecipient level in Tennessee because according to
State officials, these funds were only to be used by the Tennessee Department of Human Services.
2
  For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008.
Audit Report
ED-OIG/A04J0010                                                                   Page 2 of 8
(OMB) Circular A-133 audit, and did not have formal procedures for granting access to its
computer system.

In addition, our work identified two areas of concern in TDOE’s management of ARRA funds,
which are summarized in the Other Matters section of this report. Specifically, we are concerned
with 1) the potential delays in reimbursement to LEAs and 2) the number of vacancies in TDOE’s
program offices engaged in ARRA activities.

Control Environment

TDOE modified existing internal controls to administer and monitor ARRA funds. The Governor’s
Office created policy directives and an oversight entity to centrally manage and ensure the
transparency and accountability of ARRA funds. In March 2009 the Governor’s Office established
the Office of Tennessee Recovery Act Management (TRAM) to centrally manage ARRA funds. As
of September 2009, TRAM had issued 12 policy directives to State agencies and local governments.
The directives required separate and distinct accounting for ARRA funds, as well as risk
assessments and action plans for each ARRA program including details of how funds will be spent
and procedures for capturing data needed for reporting purposes.

TRAM also required each State agency to appoint an ARRA coordinator and to report on the use of
ARRA funds on a weekly basis. Since May 2009, TDOE and the Tennessee Department of Human
Services (TDHS) have submitted weekly reports for posting on Tennessee’s Recovery Web site.
Reportable information included the name of the grant; the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
(CFDA) number; and the amount of ARRA funds awarded, received, obligated, and disbursed. The
weekly reports also contained information on the status of applications received from LEAs that
requested ARRA funds. In addition, TDOE provided ARRA reporting guidance on their Recovery
Web site.

TDOE provides technical assistance to LEAs and monitors their operations through the use of
regional consultants. The consultants work out of field service centers located in nine regions
throughout the State. There are three regional offices in each of TDOE’s three Grand Divisions
(East, Central, and West).

Nothing came to our attention that would indicate problems with TDOE’s current process to
develop or improve its control environment over ARRA funds. However, we found that TDOE
needs to improve its communication with LEAs to ensure they are aware of reporting requirements.

FINDING – Improvements Are Needed in Communicating Guidance to LEAs

Although TDOE indicated that guidance had been provided to LEAs through the use of webinars
and regional consultants, all three of the LEAs reviewed indicated that they were not aware of
certain reporting requirements and guidance. Specifically, one LEA was not aware of the
requirement to report suspected fraud and all three were not aware of TDOE’s ARRA reporting
procedures, including requirements for estimating the number of jobs created or retained,
programmatic performance, and financial data.
Audit Report
ED-OIG/A04J0010                                                                      Page 3 of 8


Requirement to Report Suspected Fraud

OMB Memorandum M-09-15, titled Updated Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act of 2009, states that Recovery Act grants must
       Include the requirement that each grantee or sub-grantee awarded funds made
       available under the Recovery Act shall promptly refer to an appropriate inspector
       general any credible evidence that a principal, employee, agent, contractor, sub-
       grantee, subcontractor, or other person has submitted a false claim under the False
       Claims Act or has committed a criminal or civil violation of laws pertaining to
       fraud, conflict of interest, bribery, gratuity, or similar misconduct involving those
       funds.
Consistent with OMB guidance, the Department included this requirement as a final grant
condition for the SFSF funds.

According to 34 C.F.R. § 80.37(a)(2), States are to ensure that subgrantees are aware of
requirements imposed on them by Federal statute and regulation. However, TDOE did not include
this requirement in the subgrant applications to the LEAs. We found that officials at one LEA were
not aware of the requirement that any suspected fraud involving Federal education grant funds,
specifically ARRA funds, be reported to the OIG.

ARRA Reporting Procedures

LEA officials indicated that TDOE had not communicated to them the methodology to use in
reporting ARRA data to the State. Specifically, one LEA stated that ARRA funds had saved jobs in
its school system, but it did not know how to report this information. A second LEA stated it
needed guidance from TDOE to determine the types of financial and program data that will be
reported and that TDOE had not provided that guidance. In addition, the three LEAs reviewed had
not finalized their procedures for ARRA reporting. According to the LEAs, the data are available
and as soon as TDOE provides the reporting requirements, all three LEAs will be able to report the
data.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Section 1512 states –
    Not later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter, each recipient that received
    recovery funds from a Federal agency shall submit a report to that agency that contains—
    (1) the total amount of recovery funds received from that agency;
    (2) the amount of recovery funds received that were expended or obligated to projects or
    activities; and
    (3) a detailed list of all projects or activities for which recovery funds were expended or
    obligated, including—
            (A) the name of the project or activity;
            (B) a description of the project or activity;
            (C) an evaluation of the completion status of the project or activity;
            (D) an estimate of the number of jobs created and the number of jobs retained by
            the project or activity; and
Audit Report
ED-OIG/A04J0010                                                                    Page 4 of 8
            (E) for infrastructure investments made by State and local governments, the
            purpose, total cost, and rationale of the agency for funding the infrastructure
            investment with funds made available under this Act, and name of the person to
            contact at the agency if there are concerns with the infrastructure investment.

According to 34 C.F.R. § 80.37(a)(2), States are to ensure that subgrantees are aware of
requirements imposed upon them by Federal statute and regulation. However, TDOE had not
communicated its reporting requirements, including guidance for calculating the number of jobs
saved and reporting programmatic performance and financial data, to the selected LEAs at the time
of our visits. In response, TDOE said it had not provided detailed reporting instructions to LEAs
because it was waiting for additional guidance from the Federal and State level on reporting.

Subsequent to our site visits, the Department issued clarifying guidance on ARRA, dated
September 10, 2009, addressing quarterly reporting, job creation/retention, and program specific tip
sheets to assist State Education Agencies (SEAs) with reporting data. In a presentation dated
September 15-16, 2009, the TRAM Web site was updated to address Reporting Requirements under
ARRA.

Recommendations

We recommend that the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, in
conjunction with the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, require
TDOE to

1.1    Formally communicate to the LEAs that they must report suspected fraud of ARRA
       education funds to the Department’s OIG.

1.2    Ensure that LEAs understand the ARRA reporting requirements, including guidance for
       calculating the number of jobs created or retained, and reporting programmatic performance,
       and financial data.

                                      OTHER MATTERS

Our work identified areas of concern in TDOE’s management of ARRA funds. Specifically, we are
concerned with 1) the potential delays in reimbursement to LEAs and 2) the number of vacancies in
TDOE’s program offices engaged in ARRA activities.

Potential Delays in Reimbursement to LEAs

One LEA expressed concern that it had experienced reimbursement delays of up to 6 weeks for
non-ARRA Federally funded programs. The other two LEAs did not express the same concern.
According to 34 C.F.R. § 80.21, the “[m]ethod and procedures for payment shall minimize the time
elapsing between the transfer of funds and disbursement by the grantee or subgrantee . . . .” The
basic standards allow payment in advance to grantees and subgrantees if they maintain or
demonstrate the willingness and ability to maintain procedures to minimize the time between receipt
and disbursement of the funds to pay program costs. However, reimbursement is the preferred
disbursement method when the requirements for advancing funds are not met.
Audit Report
ED-OIG/A04J0010                                                                     Page 5 of 8


The LEA expressed concern that delays in reimbursement may cause problems with paying vendors
and payroll in a timely manner. In order to mitigate any problem caused by late reimbursement, the
LEA requested and received permission from its local governing body to use general funds to
finance salaries in case ARRA funds are not immediately available for reimbursement. Use of its
general funds makes those funds unavailable to the LEA until reimbursement. Based on the LEAs
past experience with delayed reimbursements, we are concerned that delays could exist with
reimbursements from ARRA funding and affect other expenditures for which the LEA’s general
funds would normally be used. As such, TDOE should monitor reimbursement data to ensure
timely reimbursements to its LEAs. In response to our identification of this issue, TDOE stated
that, based on a recent analysis of transactions, it is reimbursing LEAs within seven to ten days
from the receipt of LEA reimbursement requests.

Numerous Vacancies in Program Offices Engaged in ARRA Activities

TDOE has 76 vacancies in program offices administering or monitoring ARRA activities, as shown
in Table 1.

                               Table 1. TDOE Vacancies by Office
                                TDOE Office                       Number of Vacancies
             Commissioner’s Office                                        2
             Operations                                                   1
             Budget Office                                                2
             Office of Local Finance                                      3
             Internal Audit                                               1
             Accounting Office                                            3
             Field Service Center                                         1
             Federal Programs Office                                      9
             Technology                                                   5
             Curriculum & Instruction                                     7
             Coordinated School Health and Special Programs               9
             Early Childhood Education                                    5
             Child Nutrition                                              6
             Special Education                                            19
             Tennessee Early Intervention System                          3
                                                      TOTAL               76

TDOE personnel indicated that it has been difficult to perform job functions without sufficient staff.
We are concerned that the lack of sufficient staff will inhibit TDOE from properly performing its
functions with the added ARRA reporting requirements. A major goal of ARRA is to create or
retain jobs, and TDOE should consider filling vacancies allowable under ARRA funding, thus
demonstrating achievement of ARRA goals and benefitting TDOE as well as its LEAs. TDOE stated
that it will strive to fill vacancies as funding permits.
Audit Report
ED-OIG/A04J0010                                                                                  Page 6 of 8

                                                BACKGROUND

TDOE administers the State’s Pre-K through 12 public school system. Created in 1923, TDOE
supervises the allocation of State and Federal funds to 136 LEAs for 2 of the 3 U.S. Department of
Education (Department) programs under review – Elementary and Secondary Education Act,
Title I, Part A, Basic Grants to States (Title I); and Individuals with Disabilities and Education Act,
Part B, Special Grants to States (IDEA). The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS)
provides oversight of the Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants (VR) program; and the Governor’s
Office of Tennessee Recovery Act Management (TRAM) provides oversight of the State Fiscal
Stabilization Fund (SFSF).

On April 1, 2009, the Department released 50 percent of States’ American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for Title I, IDEA, and VR. As shown in Table 2, TDOE was
authorized to draw down $212 million in 2009 for Title I and IDEA and TDHS was authorized to
draw down $6 million in 2009 for VR. However, draw downs of these available funds by TDOE
and TDHS have been minimal.3

          Table 2. ARRA Allocations to TDOE and TDHS for 2009 and 2010 (Millions)
                                                TDOE                               TDHS
                                      Total       Available as of       Total       Available as of
                   Program          Allocated      April 1, 2009      Allocated      April 1, 2009
                Title I               $194              $97
                IDEA                  $230             $115
                VR                                                       $12              $6
                     Total            $424             $212              $12              $6

As shown in Table 3, as of August 31, 2009, TDOE had drawn down just over 3 percent of
available Title I funds and nearly 3.5 percent of available IDEA funds. As of that same time, TDHS
had not drawn down any VR ARRA funds.

                      Table 3. ARRA Draw Down Amounts for TDOE and TDHS
                                  as of August 31, 2009 (Millions)
                                   TDOE                                              TDHS
                                                   Percentage                                         Percentage
                                  Draw Downs           of                           Draw Downs            of
                  Available as       as of          Available       Available as       as of           Available
    Program        of April 1,     August 31,        Funds           of April 1,     August 31,         Funds
                      2009           2009            Drawn              2009           2009             Drawn
                                                      (%)                                                (%)
    Title I           $97              $3             3.10
    IDEA             $115              $4             3.48
    VR                                                                  $6                $0                 0
      Total          $212              $7             3.30              $6                $0                 0

3
  At the time of our review, TDOE and TDHS were in the process of planning how to use the ARRA funding.
Additionally, Federal funds related to the Title I, IDEA, and VR programs in Tennessee are drawn down on a
reimbursement basis.
Audit Report
ED-OIG/A04J0010                                                                              Page 7 of 8

April 1, 2009, was the first day State Governors were able to apply for State Fiscal Stabilization
Fund (SFSF) funds. In Tennessee, the Governor’s Office established the Office of Tennessee
Recovery Act Management (TRAM) to centrally manage and ensure the transparency and
accountability of ARRA funds. TRAM was also charged with developing the State’s Application
for Initial Funding Under the SFSF Program for Education Stabilization and Government Services
funds. On May 19, 2009, Tennessee’s application was approved by the Department.4 The
Governor’s Office was allocated a total of $947 million with 81.8 percent awarded under the
Education Stabilization Fund and the remaining 18.2 percent awarded under the Government
Services Fund. As shown in Table 4, as with the Title I, IDEA, and VR stimulus allocations, the
Department initially released only a partial amount (67 percent) of the total allocation.

                Table 4. ARRA Allocations to the TN Governor’s Office (Millions)
                                                            Governor’s Office
                                                         Total     Available as of
                                Program
                                                       Allocated   May 19, 2009
                       Education Stabilization           $775           $519
                       Government Services               $172           $116
                            Total SFSF                   $947           $635


The Governor’s Office had drawn down approximately 16 percent of the total SFSF funds available
as of August 31, 2009. As shown in Table 5, less than 1 percent of the Government Services funds
had been drawn down, though approximately 19 percent of the Education Stabilization funds had
been drawn down by the Governor’s Office.

                  Table 5. ARRA Draw Down Amounts for the Governor’s Office
                                as of August 31, 2009 (Millions)
                                                             Governor’s Office
                                                                                      Percentage of
                                           Available as of    Draw Downs as of       Available Funds
                    Program                May 19, 2009        August 31, 2009           Drawn
                                                                                           (%)
           Education Stabilization             $519                 $100                  19.3
           Government Services                 $116                 $.095                 .081
                  Total SFSF                   $635                $100.1                 15.8


                                  SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY

We gained an understanding of the system of State-level internal controls that TDOE, TDHS, and
TRAM planned to use in administering ARRA funds for the Title I, IDEA, VR, and SFSF
programs. Because of the limited scope of our review, there is a possibility that weaknesses may
exist in areas we did not examine. Our review was limited to internal controls in place during our
fieldwork period as they relate to data quality, cash management, subrecipient monitoring, and use

4
 The Governor’s Office submitted an amended SFSF application on June 25, 2009. This application was subsequently
approved by the Department in July 2009.
Audit Report
ED-OIG/A04J0010                                                                    Page 8 of 8
of funds. We did not evaluate or test the implementation of controls because ARRA funds either
had not been drawn down or were minimally drawn down at the conclusion of our fieldwork.

We conducted work at three LEAs in Tennessee and found nothing indicating that the LEAs did not
have sufficient controls in place to manage ARRA funds for Title I, IDEA, and SFSF funds.
However, where deemed necessary, some LEA results were used to support conclusions on State-
level controls presented in this report.

To gain an understanding and assess the system of internal controls that TDOE, TDHS, and TRAM
planned at the time of our field work, we

      Reviewed prior single audits and applicable reports issued by the Government
       Accountability Office, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General, the
       U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, the U.S.
       Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and the
       Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury – Division of State Audit;
      Reviewed applicable legislation, regulations, and guidance related to ARRA;
      Identified ARRA funds allocated to TDOE, TDHS, and TRAM for Title I, IDEA, VR, and
       SFSF;
      Identified ARRA funds drawn down by TDOE, TDHS, and TRAM for Title I, IDEA, VR,
       and SFSF;
      Obtained and reviewed Tennessee’s approved Part I SFSF application and amended
       application;
      Interviewed TDOE’s and TDHS’ program officials and budget/fiscal officials for Title I,
       IDEA, VR, and SFSF;
      Obtained and reviewed TDOE’s, TDHS’, and TRAM’s written policies and procedures
       related to data quality, cash management, subrecipient monitoring, and use of funds for Title
       I, IDEA, VR, and SFSF;
      Obtained and reviewed TDOE’s monitoring protocols for Title I, IDEA and SFSF;
      Interviewed officials at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission;
      Interviewed officials at the Governor’s Office including the Office of Tennessee Recovery
       Act Management;
      Interviewed officials at the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, Division of State Audit;
       TDHS’ Office of Inspector General; and TDOE’s Internal Audit Division.

We conducted fieldwork at TDOE and TDHS in June 2009 and at three LEAs from August 2009 to
September 2009. We discussed the results of our review and recommendations with TDOE and
TRAM on October 1, 2009.

We conducted this performance audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient,
appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our
audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings
and conclusions based on our audit objectives.
                                                                                                   Attachment




                                             STATE OF TENNESSEE
                                       DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                                       th
PHIL BREDESEN                          6 FLOOR, ANDREW JOHNSON TOWER              TIMOTHY K. WEBB, Ed.D.
      GOVERNOR                           710 JAMES ROBERTSON PARKWAY                      COMMISSIONER
                                            NASHVILLE, TN 37243-0375

                                              November 9, 2009


Denise M. Wempe
Regional Inspector General for Audit
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Inspector General
Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, Room 18T71
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Dear Ms. Wempe:

Thank you for an opportunity to review a preliminary copy of audit report ED-OIG/A04J0010. The
Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) concurs with the finding of the report, “Improvements Are
Needed in Communicating Guidance to LEAs,” and the related recommendations. The Department will
formally communicate to LEAs that they must report suspected fraud of ARRA education funds to the U.S.
Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General. In regard to LEA reporting of ARRA data to the
TDOE, the reason the TDOE had not provided detailed reporting instructions to LEAs by the time of audit
field work was because the TDOE was waiting for additional guidance from the Federal and State level on
reporting. Subsequent to audit field work, the TDOE has provided guidance and instructions to LEAs on
ARRA reporting requirements, including guidance for calculating the number of jobs created/retained, and
reporting program and financial data. Documentation of the additional guidance and instructions is on file in
the TDOE.

In regard to the areas of concern in the “Other Matters” section of the report, the TDOE, based on a recent
analysis of transactions, is reimbursing LEAs within seven to ten days from the receipt of LEA
reimbursement requests. The TDOE will strive to fill vacancies as funding permits.

If you have questions, or if additional information is needed, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

/s/
Timothy K. Webb, Ed.D.

TKW/crs

cc:     Arthur Hayes, Jr., Director, Division of State Audit
        Mike Morrow, Executive Director, Tennessee Recovery Act Management
     Anyone knowing of fraud, waste, or abuse involving
      U.S. Department of Education funds or programs
  should call, write, or e-mail the Office of Inspector General.

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                      Washington, DC 20202

                             Or e-mail:
                         oig.hotline@ed.gov

    Your report may be made anonymously or in confidence.

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          The Department of Education’s mission is to promote
    student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness
     by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.

                             www.ed.gov