Panhandle Community Services, a poverty assistance program located in Texas, is putting the final touches on its plan to repay approximately $1 million of taxpayer funds. Some of the organization's employees were found guilty of tampering with records and accounts.
According to the Amarillo Globe-News, Panhandle was investigated and audited by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The housing agency found that due to a lack of checks and balances, the program wasted federal money by making fraudulent and duplicate payments. The newspaper reports that PCS owes between $700,000 and $900,000 to the Texas Department of Housing. The current repayment plan being drafted will also address the financial issues which caused a funding freeze and left the organization unable to help residents.
"The department is most notably concerned with the PCS managers' and directors' lack of knowledge on program rules and regulations and the capability of the existing finance departments to perform its fiduciary responsibility and have measures in place to account for and expend funds on allowable expenditures," stated a report released by the housing department.
Panhandle Community Services offers services to low-income residents in the Amarillo area, including food and utility assistance, HUD programs and transportation, according to the organization's website.