What We've Done
Early Intervention programs provide coordinated services to children with disabilities younger than age 3 and high-risk infants and toddlers. The Vander Weele Group’s success in delivering compliance monitoring services for the State of Illinois, the sixth largest Early Intervention system in the United States, affords us considerable expertise on program logistics, staffing, training, and reporting to share with our clients.
We create agile and responsive compliance monitoring protocols and tools aligned with the Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, state laws, and agency rules. We manage large-scale, complex compliance monitoring programs and provide continuous technical support infused with our deep knowledge of best practice.
We also harness data collected through compliance monitoring reviews and special investigations to identify systemic challenges and work closely with key partners and stakeholders to devise and enact solutions.
City of Phoenix, AZ
Assessed home visits for the Head Start Birth to Five Programs Home-Based option in the City of Phoenix using the Home Visit Rating Scales-3 (HOVRS3) tool. Contracted to observe and assess 168 home visits each year for a five-year term and conduct reflective feedback sessions with each home visitor to improve services for Phoenix families.
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Supported the creation of risk assessments and a Fraud Prevention and Detection Policy to aid in monitoring of $5.6 billion dollars expended through the newly created Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), $9 billion expended through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and $3.8 billion expended through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Recovery and Mitigation
Developed the subrecipient monitoring plan the Division of Recovery and Mitigation (DRM) will use to ensure subrecipients comply with ARPA, implement regulations, and assist subrecipients in identifying metrics for success. Includes initial and ongoing risk assessments, and means to evaluate project performance, internal controls, cash management, acquisition management, property management, and records management capabilities. Provided training in the detection and prevention of fraud, waste, and abuse, and in subrecipient monitoring.
New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits
Supported the creation of a Report of Prioritized Recommendations, risk assessment of integrity oversight, and Sampling and Monitoring Procedures following a Memorandum of Understanding between the NJ Department of Treasury and the NJ Division of Pensions and Benefits (NJPB) to aid the monitoring of $146.2 million in increased claims to NJPB resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Monitored more than $20 million in funds allocated to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to be awarded to grantees--primarily fishermen or fishery-related businesses--with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (SFMGC). Conducted interviews, policy and procedure collection and review, developed a risk assessment based on recommendations to mitigate fraud, waste, and abuse. Reviewed benefits samples for duplication on behalf of the Office of the Comptroller to minimize overlap with ongoing fraud investigations.
New Jersey Redevelopment Authority
Supported creation of a risk assessment and conducted monitoring of state funds following a Memorandum of Understanding between the NJ Department of Treasury and the NJ Redevelopment Authority (NJRA) allocating $6.25 million to eligible businesses and property owners toward monthly lease obligations under the Small Business Lease-Emergency Assistance Grant Program.
Analyzed payroll records for approximately 50,000 school employees and identified dozens of employees being paid for more than 250 hours a week, hundreds of active employees living across the country from their assigned work locations, two dozen employees with paychecks but no addresses, and much more.
Served as a subject matter expert for the government of Indonesia in designing software with built-in algorithms to detect fraud in its procurement system.
Assisted Chicago Public Schools in developing Safe Schools planning guides and provided a detailed security assessment of one of the system’s largest high schools.
Provided robust training on the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, School Board Roles and Responsibilities, Board Oversight, Ethics, Using School Data, Facilities, Roberts’ Rules of Order, Administrative Cost Grants, Emergency Planning, and more.
Developed policies and forms for security, substance abuse, suicide prevention, sexual harassment, search and seizure, drug and alcohol testing, anti-bullying, zero tolerance for weapons, etc. as well as more than 100 pages of training and tools for conducting fiscal and educational reviews of schools.
Developed programs to address alcohol abuse and suicides among Native American youth.
Reviewed and recommended improvements in more than 20 major functions, ranging from information technology and recruitment to financial management systems, in multi-billion dollar organizations throughout the government and corporate sectors.
Served as the outsourced Inspector General of the Public Building Commission of Chicago.
Conducted investigations and data analytics into fraud, waste, and abuse in educational systems and other organizations.
Developed a Substance Abuse Prevention: Best Practices Resource Guide for educators, a 112-page manual on Safe Schools Planning, and more than 25 custom forms and guides for monitoring in education, including a Parents’ Guide to Mental Health, Student Health Guidelines, Memoranda of Understanding, Student Codes of Conduct, Lost or Stolen Equipment Reports and School Entrance Health Forms.
Built a grant management system and monitoring program for a state agency overseeing grants that serve employees of the horse racing industry and their families.
Public Sector Projects
"Each year, the Vander Weele Group has effectively met or exceeded its monitoring goals on time and within budget. The team has become a true partner, delivering more than monitoring services. They have made significant contributions to enhanced accountability and improved child outcomes in Early Intervention.
I heartily recommend the Vander Weele Group as a competent, caring, and professional organization."
In a five-year program, Vander Weele Group provided compliance reviews, evaluations and technical assistance to nearly all of the 183 schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). The firm made on-site visits to more than 140 locations in 23 states, reviewed more than 230,000 school safety and misconduct reports, and developed custom database tools for monitoring and reporting.
Each year, the Vander Weele Group provided a final report with recommended systemic reforms that addressed challenges such as high leadership and teacher turnover, inadequate technological infrastructure, insufficient understanding of student achievement data to drive educational programs, insufficient parental involvement, excessive carryover funds, violations of internal controls, Going Concern problems (schools improperly budgeting and at risk of exhausting their funds), and more. The BIE and its schools used the information from the monitoring visits and these recommendations to drive new strategies, future training, and technical assistance.
Private Sector Projects
"We were hired by an art gallery to find a customer who stole more than $100,000 of artwork. With only a name and no permanent address, the Vander Weele Group was able to locate the thief's family in an off-grid country home fueled only by a wood burning stove."
A corporation saved $5 million to $7 million a year after the Vander Weele Group analyzed approximately $40 million in credit card expenditures recorded on a PeopleSoft financial system and identified 145 suspect users, some of whom were criminally charged.
On behalf of a Fortune 500 company, the Vander Weele Group performed more than 175 investigative projects, including a series of high-level financial investigations of allegations relevant to compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2001. Matters involved allegations of insider trading, kickbacks, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, unauthorized diversion of scrap, conflicts of interests, procurement fraud, accounting fraud, self-dealing, and more.
As a subcontractor to a partner firm, the Vander Weele Group conducted assessments of seven American manufacturing plants in China, Malaysia, and Singapore to prevent product diversion to the black market. The Vander Weele Group designed a security audit program based on extensive security procedures provided by the manufacturer’s largest customer; conducted audits of the seven plants, and co-authored recommendations for development of a security compliance program.
A client was about to invest $150,000 into an entity that promised to raise tens of millions in capital. Our investigation detected numerous inconsistencies, noting that the entity incorporated with the stated purpose of providing education based on the teachings of a controversial overseas cult leader who claimed divine powers. In fact, the leader was accused of sexually molesting boys and his organization was accused of trading in kidney parts. Former followers launched a group to foster healing among ex-converts, which included alleged child sexual abuse victims who launched an online discussion group.
The Vander Weele Group saved a maintenance company $1.6 million in union contributions by documenting errors in a union audit that claimed the company owed the money. We reconstructed data from hundreds of purchase orders to demonstrate the audit was faulty.
Investigated theft of half a million dollars from a client processing millions of dollars in checks. Using data analysis of phone records, the Vander Weele Group identified the culprit within days, worked with the client to obtain a written confession, and supported the efforts of the U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office in indicting the employee, who was part of a multi-million-dollar Nigerian bank fraud ring.
Gathered intelligence concerning a company that claimed revenue growth from $19.4 million to $155 million in three years. The Vander Weele Group discovered a revolving door of executives, unexecuted initiatives, disputes with customers, disputes with vendors, and nearly 80 civil actions—most of which were breach of contract—against the principals.
When the company was later shut down for fraud, its principals were accused—and subsequently convicted—in connection to a scheme to inflate revenues by $250 million to obtain hundreds of millions of investment dollars. Its liabilities totaled $800 million; the client who requested the investigation escaped the losses.
A client was working with an individual on a major sales initiative with a foreign government agency. After the relationship was launched, our client requested background information on the individual. Within two days, our team informed the client the individual had been convicted of a decades old military crime in which he disposed of bodies out of a helicopter during the regime of a notorious dictator. Our research showed that his company was also embroiled in allegations of steering bids, a factor critical in our client’s consideration whether to continue the relationship.
The Vander Weele Group conducted investigations into complex inventory fraud schemes in American manufacturing plants in Shanghai, China, and in Guadalajara, Mexico. Vander Weele Group used data analysis to show disparities in Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) entering the manufacturing line compared with COAs attached to product coming out of the Mexican plant. After one investigation, six employees in the Mexican operation were dismissed.