State inspector general's office finds need for improvements at tobacco commission

November 21, 2019

The Virginia Office of the State Inspector General announced Nov. 21 it had found that the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has not implemented the requirements of the Financial Viability Manager legislation to assess grant projects, does not adequately monitor program results and has not rectified findings from previous OSIG reports.

These are among the findings of the latest performance audit performed by OSIG as part of its statutory obligations in Code of Virginia.
“OSIG conducted this performance audit to identify potential improvements to the financial viability assessment process, measuring intended outputs and matching requirements and loans processed through the Virginia Resources Authority,” State Inspector General Michael C. Westfall said in the announcement. “Among OSIG’s recommendations is that TRRC staff follow the Code of Virginia by objectively analyzing, documenting and reporting the financial viability of projects and feasibility of all grants, loans and other distributions of money.” The release said TRRC does not have written guidance for program managers to monitor awarded grants.

The report also recommends that TRRC staff conduct and document site visits, which is a recommendation made by OSIG previously.
“TRRC staff should develop specific policies and procedures to determine which projects should have site visits, when and how the site visits should be performed and how these site visits should be documented,” said Westfall. The release said TRRC staff did not complete documentation of site visits for 23 out of the 30 grant files reviewed during the audit.

The release also noted that the commission has developed action plans to address OSIG’s findings by December 2020, with earlier dates for many of the corrective actions.

Established in 2012, the Virginia OSIG manages the State Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline; conducts investigations and performance audits of state agencies; provides training and standards for the commonwealth’s internal audit programs; and conducts inspections and reviews of Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services-run facilities and programs.