Where did the $30,000 go?
A $ 30,000 grant to the nowdefunct Mana Education Centre has fallen into a black hole.
The centre, which folded in December, received a grant from Mana Community Grants Foundation in September.
The foundation is awaiting a report from Department of Internal Affairs over the situation.
Mana Community Grants Foundation chairman Litea Ah Hoi said the situation was ‘‘annoying’’.
‘‘The money was approved. We handed it over. Everything seemed kosher and there was no talk of them [the education centre] closing,’’ she said.
‘‘My annoyance is over the fact they knew what was going on and took the money. It’s $30,000 that could have gone somewhere else in this community, but it’s gone into a dark hole.’’
Ah Hoi said she wanted the education centre board members to be held to account.
‘‘They filled out an application knowing full well what was going to happen. It’s a big loss when the amount we give out is shrinking.’’
In the year to March 31, 2014, the foundation, which gets its money from pokie machines, handed out $1.88 million to community groups, sports clubs and schools.
Mana Education Centre provided teacher resources and organised education courses, but went into liquidation in December with debts of more than $100,000.
Mana Community Grants Foundation executive officer Lee Adamson said she understood the education centre trust was able to use some of the $30,000 before it went under.
The foundation was likely to write off most of the $ 30,000, Adamson said.
It was the first instance of a foundation grant not being used for what it was intended since it began operating in 2002.
‘‘ We’re not sure how much [Mana Education Trust] was able to spend,’’ Adamson said. ‘‘ No money has been refunded. The trustees are absolutely gutted.’’
Mana Education Centre’s former director, Angela Ryan, was unwilling to comment on the financial circumstances the trust found itself in last year.
‘‘It was a very difficult situation,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s all been dealt with – DIA [ Department of Internal Affairs] has all the information.’’
Adamson said in the year ending March 31, 2013, the grants foundation handed out nearly $2.1m. The reduction in gaming funds was an issue across the country, she said.
Annoyed: Mana Community Grants Foundation chairwoman Litea Ah Hoi.