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$11 Million Grant to Clothe Detroit Job-Seekers Helps...Two

"Chronic mismanagement of federal funds"

It's no secret that Detroit isn't the most economically sound city, but somehow, it still finds a way to astonish us.

A recent audit of the Department of Human Services revealed that an $11 million grant to help clothe low income job-seekers in the city helped two, yes, two people.  According to The Detroit News:

Among the most telling findings, which will be discussed today during a City Council committee meeting, is that a third-party contractor advanced $148,000 to a downtown Detroit clothing store and opened an account, but did not include the city on the account.

"It's just another example that money is not as much of an issue [as] managing the money, whether it's grant or general fund dollars that we have," said Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown. "We have to find a better way to manage the resources and give Detroiters the value for the tax dollars they deserve."

Though the program aimed to help 400 people between July of 2009 and September of 2011, "The DHS was only able to provide the auditors with two referral forms signed by two clients documenting that they received clothing from the boutique."

CBS notes that applicants were required to have a job interview scheduled to participate, but presumably that's not such a stringent requirement that only two people were eligible.

Furthermore, though the audit did not reveal why "400" was the target number of people to help, it's significant to note that even that would equal a cool $27,500 wardrobe for each person, before associated costs.  Unfortunately, "associated costs" were all that got taken care of in this case.

And this isn't the first embarrassment of its type, according to The Detroit News:

The audit is the latest finding against the city's Department of Human Services, which has been under scrutiny for chronic mismanagement of federal funds. Many of the department's leaders have departed since an internal investigation was launched last year, including an inquiry into the purchase of $182,000 worth of high-end furniture for a department office. In 2009, the department received more than $11 million in stimulus funding and created a service center.

Would it have been better if the lucky two had just gotten a 5.5 million dollar shopping spree?

(H/T: Ace of Spades)

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