State of Iowa To Return $21 Million In Misused CARES Act Funds
We're heading into the final weeks of 2020, a year that's been challenging and complicated for all of us. COVID-19 vaccine distribution has arrived in Iowa, in what some are calling record time, while others remain skeptical for that very reason. Even those elected to represent and lead us have had a rough go of navigating something no one has ever experienced.
When the State of Iowa was given approximately $21 million in CARES Act funding to be allocated toward the COVID-19 response, it was learned that state authorities instead used it to upgrade the state's computer systems.
State auditor Rob Sand called out authorities in October on the misappropriated expenditure, and now, according to KCRG, the money is reportedly being returned. Governor Kim Reynolds made a statement this week indicating the $21 million would indeed go back into the state's Coroanvirus Relief Fund. This includes $4.45 million already used for the computer modernization project with a company called Workday. The entirety of funding is expected to be returned on December 18.
If the remainder of these funds had been allocated in this way before Sand made the move to force a change in course, Sand says Iowa taxpayers would have been on the hook for $21 million. For her part, Reynolds stated the following: "following multiple conversations with the Treasury Department last spring, we believed we had assurances that the upgrade to Workday qualified as an allowable expense. We would not have moved forward without those assurances.”