Tina Fineberg/AP

Capital area charity drive’s expenses questioned

Audit suggests campaign workers should not be reimbursed for meals and travel.

A recent audit of a popular federal charity drive uncovered regulatory violations and questionable expenses.

The Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general examined the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area from 2007 through 2010 and identified seven instances of noncompliance with regulations, according the text of the audit, first reported by The Washington Post.

The IG also questioned $308,820 in expenses charged to the campaign and said an additional $764,069 “could have been put to better use.”

Some of the $308,820 went toward overcharges for food, travel and other campaign expenses, the audit said.

Global Impact, the nonprofit that manages the charity drive for the region, has agreed to reimburse the capital area CFC for the $308,820, so as not to interfere with the upcoming fundraiser. But the nonprofit plans to appeal the reimbursement, according to the Post.

The audit suggested that Global Impact stop covering campaign workers’ meals and travel, although the IG acknowledged this has been a general practice for “many years” on the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area and other regional drives.

OPM Director John Berry told The Washington Post that Global Impact also agreed to certify compliance with additional controls by April 23, and OPM is in the process of creating a task force to look further into the “potentially wasteful expenditures identified by the IG.”

The capital area drive is part of the nationwide Combined Federal Campaign, started in 1961 by President Kennedy and is managed by OPM. CFC has grown into the nation’s largest annual workplace fundraiser.