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We audited the Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport, CT, in response to complaints about improper use of funds, procurement irregularities, and inadequate safeguarding of equipment.  The audit objective was to determine whether Federal funds were used for eligible and adequately supported costs, procurements were executed in compliance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations, and the Authority had established adequate controls to safeguard equipment.

Authority officials had not always spent funds for eligible and adequately supported costs, procurement actions did not always comply with HUD regulations, and controls over inventory were not adequate.  Specifically, Authority officials (1) spent more than $542,000 for ineligible costs and more than $6.2 million for inadequately supported costs; (2) failed to properly maintain and reconcile accounting records, resulting in the unsupported allocation of $1.75 million; (3) charged $216,142 and $272,008 for legal and public relations services, respectively, that were not procured in compliance with Federal regulations; and (4) did not ensure that $61,804 in inventory was put to its intended use.  As a result, HUD lacked assurance that funds were always spent for eligible and properly supported costs, procurements were made at a reasonable cost, and inventory was accurately accounted for.

We recommend that the Hartford Office of Public Housing’s program center coordinator require Authority officials to (1) repay more than $542,000 spent for ineligible costs; (2) provide documentation to support that more than $6.2 million in inadequately supported disbursements was for eligible costs; (3) reconcile Authority accounting records to ensure that $1.75 million was properly allocated; (4) show that $488,150 spent for legal and public relations services complied with Federal procurement regulations; (5) properly account for inventory valued at $61,804; and (6) strengthen controls over disbursement of funds, maintenance of accounting and inventory records, and procurement.