Homeland Security Spending

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State auditors say Colorado could be forced to repay five-point-nine (M) million dollars in federal and state grants that were used to build a new emergency management center for homeland security.

Auditors say the state essentially awarded the grants to itself, funneling the money through a local fire department in the Denver area to pay for a state building in violation of state and federal guidelines.

State officials say the spending was legal.

They say they were forced to find a project because the time to use the federal money was running out.

Auditors are recommending that lawmakers set up a formal grant process and strengthen controls on federal homeland security money that is distributed by the state.