(DENVER) – The Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General recently released a scathing report on Connect for Health Colorado’s (Colorado’s Obamacare exchange) staggering misuse of federal grant funds. The report, aptly titled, “Colorado Did Not Correctly Expend Establishment Grant Funds for Establishing a Health Insurance Marketplace” calls for Colorado’s exchange to refund the federal government nearly $10 million dollars as a result of gross mismanagement.

Highlights from the report include:

  • The outlining of a potentially serious conflict of interest not properly documented by the exchange’s CFO, Cammie Blais. Ms. Blais listed her spouse as the owner of a company, Bolder Business Solutions, granted a contract by the exchange. Since leaving the exchange she now has herself listed as the owner on the company’s website and on her LinkedIn page
  • Hundreds of thousands of dollars paid out to consultants and contractors without proper authorization and documentation of work done
  • Just over $86k (more than the average Coloradan makes in a year) spent on unallowable “promotional giveaway items such as sunscreen, water bottles, tee-shirts, and pens and ink cartridges”
  • Over $170k spent on executive performance bonuses with no or insufficient documentation of said performance
  • More than $28k spent on equipment lacking either any documentation altogether or documentation outlining its use for business purposes
  • Over $10k spent on employee and executive travel without receipts or supporting documentation outlining the business purposes of said travel
  • Insufficient and incomplete equipment inventory, including two iPads purchased for CEO Patty Fontneau, one of which was allegedly damaged and never returned and a second for which there is no evidence it was ever cleared of sensitive or personal information prior to it being released to Ms. Fontneau for her personal use
  • Exchange executives and employees using personal credit cards for the purchase of supplies and equipment which was delivered and billed to personal businesses and homes with no oversight as to business v. personal use
  • Millions of dollars of an “establishment grant” used after the date which the exchange was to be established

“When the federal government concludes nearly $10 million dollars was so flagrantly misused they are demanding it be returned there is a real, deep, and systemic problem,” said Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado. “The feds found payouts without proper authorization or documentation to connected consultants and contractors, money spent where it clearly should not have been, insufficient oversight of funds and equipment, accounting problems, and potential privacy issues. It’s easy to be so reckless when you’re dealing with someone else’s money, but in this case, it’s all our money.”