We audited the Housing Authority of the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma (Authority) due to a U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) request. Our objective was to determine whether the Authority expended its Indian Housing Block Grant (grant) program funds in accordance with HUD rules and regulations.
While the Authority has improved since HUD’s fiscal year 2006 monitoring review, it still needs additional improvement. Because the Authority did not always follow HUD requirements or its own policies, it did not perform the required environmental reviews or independent cost estimates or acquire appropriate bonding documents for procurement contracts. This deficiency resulted in the misspending of more than $800,000 and could lead to additional misspending of more than $250,000 for a contract still in progress. Also, the Authority did not: (1) maintain its low-rent housing inventory in a decent, safe, and sanitary manner or enforce its unit condition policies and procedures for mutual help housing; (2) follow up on previously failed inspections; or (3) expend grant funds within the year requested. In addition, the Authority did not receive all of its funding back from the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma (Nation) after the Nation reestablished the Authority. The Authority was working with its accounting firm to determine the amount of funding the Nation needs to return to the Authority.
We recommended that the Administrator, Southern Plains Office of Native American Programs, initiate enforcement actions to require the Authority to (1) support or reimburse $809,547 and put to better use $269,604 for the contracts without appropriate environmental reviews and for the ineligible hotel expenditure; (2) correct both the deficiencies identified during our inspections and the inaccurate record keeping of funding requested for specific grant years; (3) implement policies and procedures to ensure that it maintains units, follows up on inspections, and turns around units within established timeframes; and (4) continue to work with its accounting firm to determine the correct amount of funding the Nation needs to return to the Authority.