Apr 9, 2010

CPB IG issues reports on WHYY, and KDNA-FM in Washington State

Two CPB Inspector General reports are out. There's an examination of KDNA-FM in Granger, Wash., triggered by complaints it was shirking requirements for public meetings and financial record keeping, and an audit of CPB grants to WHYY in Philadelphia for fiscal years 2007 and '08.

KDNA broadcasts to a rural area of Washington State about 225 miles southeast of Seattle; it programs mainly for migrant workers. It has this official station website, which says it's the only full-time educational Spanish-language pubradio station in the nation. There's also a competing site detailing what it calls "the troubles" at that station for nearly two years -- including a monthlong strike last year that triggered a longtime board member to resign. The 34-page IG report found that its licensee, Northwest Communities' Education Center, did not "materially comply" with CPB requirements on restricted grant funds, did not accurately report non-federal financial support (NFFS), and did not meet open meetings and open records requirements. In her response, Mirta Laura Contreras, KDNA's interim executive director since mid-March, cited the station's "significant challenges" of the past months that led to the complaints. The station "generally agreed" with most of the IG's findings.

The report on WHYY is a routine funding oversight audit. Among findings: That WHYY improperly claimed some $403,000 of other transactions and payments as direct revenues and NFFS, which resulted in CPB making excess grant payments of around $30,000 in fiscal '09 and about $7,500 in FY10. Also, it said that around $235,000 was not "expended timely within the grant period" due to project delays. WHYY CFO A. William Dana penned the station's response, which agreed on several points including the NFFS reporting issue.

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