Poor recordkeeping, money used for the wrong purposes, and findings repeated from previous audits look bad for the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. IDVA director Erica Borggren has explanations for much of what’s in a 151-page auditor general’s report, released Thursday. "We’re encouraged by the fact that many of the findings had been previously identified and addressed by our department, even before the audit began,” Borggren said, “and also that the majority of the remaining findings reflect needed improvements in our reporting and record-keeping, not with the quality of care and service we provide to our veterans.”
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The “member benefit fund” in question, says Borggren, is at the Prince Home, a Manteno facility for 15 homeless veterans. It’s for such things as birthday cakes and magazine subscriptions, but the department used the fund to buy, for example, bus passes for the residents, as that is a purchase which does not lend itself easily to the state’s procurement system. The audit, reviewing the two years ending June 30, 2012, took more than a year and began six months after the previous audit began. Of the 22 findings in the new audit, 18 are repeated from the last audit.