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We audited the City of Pittsburgh, PA’s administration of its Community Development Block Grant program.  We conducted the audit because the City’s program had the second largest number of completed activities without accomplishment information reported nationwide.  Our audit objective was to determine whether the City administered its Block Grant program in accordance with applicable U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Federal requirements.

The City did not always administer its Block Grant program in accordance with HUD and Federal requirements.  Specifically, of seven activities reviewed, the City did not (1) prepare independent cost estimates before awarding contracts for three activities with costs totaling $1.4 million; (2) ensure that more than $1 million disbursed to subrecipients for two activities was for costs that benefited the activity; and (3) document its determination that seven activities with costs totaling $4.7 million were exempt or categorically excluded from environmental review requirements.  Additionally, the City did not always properly report program accomplishments to HUD.  As a result, it could not show that costs totaling more than $4.7 million complied with applicable requirements and that accomplishments were accurately reported.

We recommend that HUD require the City to provide documentation to show that (1) prices paid for products and services totaling $1.4 million were fair and reasonable; (2) disbursements to subrecipients totaling more than $1 million were for costs that benefited the activity; and (3) seven activities with costs of $2.3 million were exempt or categorically excluded from environmental reviews or repay its program from non-Federal funds for any amount that it cannot support.  We also recommend that HUD require the City to review its accomplishment data to ensure accurate reporting.

Recommendations

Community Planning and Development

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-A
    $1,423,262.00

    Closed on March 31, 2023

    Provide documentation to show that prices paid for products and services totaling $1,423,262 for three activities were fair and reasonable or repay its program from non-Federal funds for any amount that it cannot support.

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-B
    $942,636.00

    Provide documentation to show that costs totaling $942,636 for activity 7099 were for employees’ actual time spent benefiting the activity or repay its program from non-Federal funds for any amount that it cannot support.

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-C
    $100,000.00

    Provide documentation to show that costs totaling $100,000 for activity 6865 benefited the activity or repay its program from non-Federal funds for any amount that it cannot support.

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-D
    $2,266,543.00

    Closed on March 13, 2019

    Provide documentation to show that seven activities with costs totaling $2,266,543 were exempt or categorically excluded from environmental reviews or repay its program from non-Federal funds for any amount that it cannot support (excluding any amount repaid as a result of recommendations 1A, 1B, and 1C).

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-E

    Closed on May 10, 2018

    Revise its policies and procedures to address compliance with applicable procurement regulations requiring independent cost estimates before receiving bids or proposals.

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-F

    Closed on March 27, 2018

    Train its staff on requirements for documenting costs funded by multiple funding sources.

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-G

    Closed on May 10, 2018

    Develop and implement controls to ensure that subrecipients comply with requirements for documenting costs funded by multiple funding sources.

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-H

    Closed on December 04, 2018

    Determine whether it has complied with environmental review requirements for all activities since October 2010 and provide a copy of its determination to HUD. If it did not comply, either provide the necessary support for the activities or repay its program from non-Federal funds for any activity costs it cannot support.

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-I

    Closed on June 04, 2018

    Develop and implement controls to ensure that it complies with environmental review requirements.

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-J

    Closed on March 27, 2018

    Review accomplishment data that it reported in IDIS for open and completed activities to ensure that accomplishments were reported accurately.

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-K

    Closed on June 04, 2018

    Train its staff on reporting accomplishments in IDIS and develop and implement policies and procedures for supervisory review to ensure accuracy.

  •   2017-PH-1001-001-L

    Closed on July 16, 2018

    Include compliance with environmental review requirements in its project-specific reviews in its next periodic monitoring of the City’s Block Grant program.