Cass County Correspondent
WALKER -- The Leech Lake/Cass County Children's Initiative has been careful to comply with all state policies and regulations with grants receive, Monica Strunk, director, says.
If there have been any improprieties, they occurred at the state level she said Monday.
Strunk responded to questions concerning an Associated Press report last week alleging an audit of Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning strongly questioned $310,000 the state allocated June 30, 1999 to Cass County for a program for children.
That report indicated the money otherwise would have had to be returned to the state's general fund July 1, 1999.
"We just do what we are told, Strunk said of the application process the Cass agency followed in seeking, accepting and using the grant. She said she does not know the state's internal administrative processes.
No state communications have come to the local agency since the audit regarding this grant, she said.
Leech Lake/Cass County Children's Initiative sought the grant to complete an information technology system, according to Strunk. The project will become a sample other counties' children's initiatives can adapt to their county, she added.
It is designed to offer families Internet access and referrals to local family services and programs by personal computer, she explained.
There will be a universal in-take system in the program to enable families to sign up for services over the Internet, she added.
It also will coordinate services children's initiatives coordinate locally, giving the initiative a clear idea whether any services are being duplicated by more than one agency, Strunk said.
This will give the initiative a way to evaluate program effectiveness and do more cost effective planning in the future, she explained.
Portions of the program already have been shared with other children's initiative collaboratives in the state as they have been developed, she said.
The money Cass County received has been used to complete that computer programming, she said, adding she had no way to know why the grant administration was questioned at the state level.
Locally, the money has been used for the purpose the grant application indicated, she said.
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