CPB Comment on IG Report RE Public Media Platform, Inc.

Oct 01, 2015

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and its independent Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have a well-established process and timetable for addressing OIG audit findings and recommendations. Specifically, once the OIG issues its final audit report, CPB has 90 days to provide the OIG with its response in the form of a management determination letter. The OIG published its report on CPB’s grant to the Public Media Platform, Inc. on September 30, 2015.

In its report, the OIG emphasizes that its “report represents the conclusions of the OIG and the findings reported do not necessarily represent CPB’s final position on these issues.” CPB is in the initial phase of reviewing the OIG’s audit report as well as the Public Media Platform, Inc.’s response, and will prepare its response to the OIG for delivery on, or before, December 30, 2015. Under the standard process for resolving OIG audits, CPB will make its final determination based on further inquiries to the Public Media Platform, Inc., which could substantiate some of the OIG’s questioned expenditures. Until then, the amount of any refunds that may be appropriate cannot be known.

Following an initial review of the OIG’s Report and the PMP’s response however, we believe that that the fixed fee structure provided in the grant for work undertaken by the founding PMP partners was appropriate and the amount paid for that work was reasonable. At the same time, we share the OIG’s concern about the lack of record-keeping to substantiate other labor charges under the grant agreement. While there is no disagreement that extensive, valuable work was performed on this project appropriate for reimbursement by CPB, CPB will be working with the OIG and the PMP to determine whether the charges for the work completed can be substantiated.

Public Media Platform, Inc. (“PMP”) is a non-profit organization created by five major public media organizations [NPR, PBS, American Public Media (APM), Public Radio International (PRI) and Public Radio Exchange (PRX)] to develop and operate a system to publish and distribute digital media. The PMP represents an unprecedented collaboration among these organizations, all of whom are placing their digital content into the PMP’s content sharing tool for public media stations’ use, with the goal of fostering local, regional, and national content collaboration and innovation. The PMP platform comprises a core database and a content input/output system that together allows public media entities to easily upload their content into one central system, search and access their own and others’ content, and publish it across multiple digital platforms. The PMP has completed its development phase and is in year two of its operating phase.

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

Categories: CPB Funding, Grant, NPR, PBS