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The Buffalo, NY, Municipal Housing Authority Did Not Always Administer Its Recovery Act Capital Fund Program in Accordance With HUD Requirements

We audited the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority’s Public Housing Capital Fund Stimulus (Formula) program funded under the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 based on an Office of Inspector General risk analysis and the amount of funding the Authority received. The objectives of the audit were to determine whether Authority officials (1) procured contracts in accordance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations, and (2) obligated and expended capital funds in accordance with the Recovery Act and submitted mandated reports in a timely manner and with accurate information.

Authority officials did not always comply with the procurement requirements of the Recovery Act program and, therefore, did not properly obligate Recovery Act funds. Specifically, Authority officials did not ensure that the procurement of Recovery Act contracts was conducted in a manner that provided full and open competition. In addition, payments were made on other obligations that were executed after the Recovery Act obligation deadline. Authority officials charged questionable expenditures to the Recovery Act Capital Fund grant. Specifically, they (1) expended Recovery Act funds on nondwelling equipment purchases that benefited their central office cost center, (2) requisitioned funding from HUD’s Line of Credit Control System in excess of the amounts needed, (3) failed to expend funds in accordance with their Recovery Act Capital Fund annual statement, and (4) did not accurately report Recovery Act expenditure and job creation or retention information.

We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Buffalo Office of Public Housing instruct Authority officials to (1) provide documentation and/or justifications for more than $9.7 million expended on costs that did not meet the procurement and obligation requirements of the Recovery Act, and reimburse the U.S. Treasury the amounts determined to be ineligible from non-Federal or other eligible funds, (2) reimburse the U.S. Treasury from non-Federal funds $110,814 expended on ineligible costs pertaining to nondwelling equipment purchases for their central office cost center, and (3) provide documentation to justify the $30,311 in unsupported costs requisitioned in excess of the Authority’s needs