State Spinal Cord Injury Research Board has not awarded grants in timely manner, comptroller says in audit
ALBANY – The state Spinal Cord Injury Research Board has not awarded grants in a timely manner, prompting the Legislature to take back $13.5 million one year and withhold funds in others, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in an audit released yesterday.
But the state Health Department, which oversees the board and the Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund, said no money has been lost because the agency still has the authority to spend the funds.
The Spinal Cord Injury Research Board was created in 1998 and the grants it gives out are funded by a surcharge on drivers who receive traffic tickets. The first grants were not given out until 2001. All told, it took between six months and 487 days after requests for applications were issued to give out the money, the audit found. The funds go to scientists, physicians and other experts researching a cure for spinal-cord injury. Continue Reading »