Delaware company helping Douglas County distribute CARES Act funds

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 9:31 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2020 at 9:32 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Three-quarters of a million dollars in Douglas County CARES Act funds is landing in the pockets of a Delaware-based accounting firm.

The money’s going to Deloitte Touche to help dole out rental assistance, but a couple of county commissioners said Tuesday, enough is enough.

So far, the county has doled out $1.6 million in rental assistance; a fraction of the $10 million in CARES Act funds set aside.

“I’m concerned that we’re spending more dollars on consultants than we are on the people for rent assistance,” Commissioner James Cavanaugh said.

This summer, commissioners voted to pay Deloitte more than $500,000 to help roll out the program; Tuesday voting to tack another $276,000 to the bill through December.

“After today’s approval, which I voted against, they’ve authorized three-quarters of a million in administrative fees so that’s way out of whack in terms of paying Deloitte,” Cavanaugh said.

The county has received roughly 3,500 applications; more than 900 have been approved and nearly 700 are waiting on landlords to fill out their portion.

“Maybe run the risk of allocating this money to the people who are unable to get their landlord’s to cooperate instead of paying it to Deloitte to make sure we do everything right,” Commissioner Mike Boyle said.

But the majority of commissioners, along with the county’s chief administrator, agree Deloitte is worth it.

“I think there’s been a little bit of an unfair attack on our consultant and they have done an incredible job,” said Patrick Bloomingdale, Douglas County’s chief administrator.

Deloitte’s helping process applications; something the county says they wouldn’t be able to do on their own.

“I can’t thank them enough for really saving us, and helping us do this as smoothly as it’s gone and I think it’s gone well,” Bloomingdale said.

One way or another, the commissioners who voted “no” say something needs to change.

“We need to come back, as we have in the past and make some adjustments to allow the assistance to reach the people,” Cavanaugh said. “The assistance is reaching the consultants — that’s not a problem, but we need the assistance to reach the people.”

Rental assistance is available until the end of December. The county is encouraging anyone who is struggling due to the pandemic to go online and fill out an application for assistance.

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