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We audited the Public Housing Capital Fund program at the Housing Authority of the City of Woonsocket, RI, based on a request by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and because we have not audited the Authority in more than 10 years.  We also received a complaint regarding a property purchase and later demolition next to one of the Authority’s developments.  The audit objective was to determine whether the Authority administered its Capital Fund program in accordance with HUD’s requirements; specifically, whether costs were eligible and supported and the Authority procured and awarded contracts in accordance with HUD requirements and its procurement policies.  In addition, we wanted to determine whether the complaint regarding the Authority’s purchase of a property and later demolition of the property next to one of its developments had merit.

Authority officials did not administer the Capital Fund program in accordance with HUD requirements.  Specifically, they did not always ensure that Capital Fund activity costs were eligible and supported.  They did not always follow environmental review requirements and support that awarded contracts were procured in accordance with HUD requirements.  Although the complaint reviewed had merit, non-Federal funds were used for the property purchase and demolition.  These deficiencies occurred because Authority officials did not have adequate policies and procedures or always follow them to ensure that they met environmental review, procurement, and contract administration requirements.  As a result, the Authority spent more than $1.9 million for ineligible costs and more than $1.4 million for unsupported costs and may spend $125,491 for ineligible costs.

We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Boston Office of Public and Indian Housing require Authority officials to (1) repay from non-Federal sources more than $1.9 million in ineligible costs related to environmental deficiencies and for payments made beyond the contract terms, (2) support that more than $1.4 million spent was fair and reasonable and in accordance with Federal procurement and environmental review requirements or repay from non-Federal funds any amounts that cannot be supported, and (3) deobligate $125,491 in funds not yet spent on ineligible activities and costs.

Recommendation Status Date Issued Summary
2019-BO-1002-001-A Closed May 07, 2019 Repay from non-Federal sources the $1,864,914 in ineligible costs related to environmental deficiencies
2019-BO-1002-001-B Closed May 07, 2019 Repay from non-Federal sources the $85,204 in ineligible costs related to payments made beyond the contract terms.
2019-BO-1002-001-C Closed May 07, 2019 Support that the $101,052 spent for one activity followed Federal environmental review requirements or repay this amount from non-Federal funds.
2019-BO-1002-001-D Closed May 07, 2019 Support that the $1,325,967 spent for activities was fair and reasonable in accordance with Federal procurement requirements or repay from non-Federal funds any amounts that cannot be supported
2019-BO-1002-001-E Closed May 07, 2019 Deobligate $113,710 in funds not yet spent on ineligible activities with environmental review deficiencies and work with HUD to determine whether these funds can be reobligated to eligible activities.
2019-BO-1002-001-F Closed May 07, 2019 Deobligate $11,781 in funds not yet spent on ineligible activities related to activities that exceeded contract terms and work with HUD to determine whether these funds can be reobligated to eligible activities
2019-BO-1002-001-G Closed May 07, 2019 Develop and implement adequate policies and procedures to address the environmental deficiencies identified.
2019-BO-1002-001-H Closed May 07, 2019 Strengthen their policies and procedures to address the procurement and contract administration deficiencies identified.
2019-BO-1002-001-I Closed May 07, 2019 Strengthen their procedures to obligate capital funds in a timely manner.
2019-BO-1002-001-J Closed May 07, 2019 Provide technical assistance to Authority officials to ensure that responsible staff receives necessary procurement and environmental review training.