* From an Illinois Auditor General’s report…
On August 13, 2010, the Governor attended a violence prevention conclave in Roseland where ministers requested he declare a State of Emergency on the current violence problem.
Five days later, on August 18, 2010, [the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority] was informed that the Governor’s Office wanted to invest at least $20 million in violence prevention and was directed to develop a framework for the [Neighborhood Recovery Initiative] program. Less than two months later, on October 6, 2010, the Governor announced the NRI program; the program had increased to a cost of $50 million for Chicago communities.
* The Auditor General found…
* Lack of Documentation on the Selection of Communities (IVPA and DHS could not locate the analysis used nor could IVPA provide any other documentation to auditors showing how Chicago communities were selected to participate in NRI)
* Lack of Due Diligence in Selection of Lead Agencies (While IVPA issued an RFP for a “Governor’s Neighborhood Recovery Plan” on September 8, 2010, to select agencies to administer the program, the RFP was only sent to those agencies recommended by aldermen five days earlier. Furthermore, auditors’ review of IVPA’s scoring of the RFP submissions identified numerous deficiencies, including evaluation forms with inconsistent criteria, unscored criteria, changed scoring, and undated evaluations.)
* IVPA not Adequately Staffed (Embarking on an initiative of the size and complexity of NRI without key personnel in place is illustrative of IVPA’s inadequate planning for the NRI program.
* IVPA Untimely Approval of Contracts (40 percent of the contracts (265 of 663) were approved by IVPA after the contract was executed by the lead and community partners)
* Community Partners’ Staffing Levels Not Met (Our review of quarterly reports found that community partners did not maintain the number of staff required by their contracts with IVPA. We found no documentation to show that IVPA took steps necessary to correct the staffing deficiencies.
And there’s more. Much more. It’s a freaking mess. Go read the whole thing. More here.
This was a feel-good program tossed together at the last minute to make the governor look like he was doing something. Yes, some people were helped. But there was way too much politics involved and some truly hinky accounting.