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The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina Did Not Follow Some Requirements for Its Native American Housing Block Grants Received Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

We selected the tribe for audit because it received a $4.7 million formula grant and a $4 million competitive grant, the largest Native American Housing Block Grants awarded in North Carolina under the Recovery Act. Our objective was to determine whether the tribe administered its Native American Housing Block Grants in compliance with Recovery Act and other applicable requirements, specifically, whether it had (1) expended funds on a timely basis for eligible activities that were adequately supported, (2) followed Federal and tribal procurement requirements, and (3) followed Recovery Act reporting requirements.

Although the tribe followed most Recovery Act requirements, its program administration was deficient in some areas. The tribe (1) did not charge expenses to the correct grant, (2) requested duplicate reimbursement for the same mobile home rehabilitation, and (3) could not support the expenditure and jobs created figures in its most recent quarterly reports. These conditions occurred because the tribe had not implemented adequate financial controls to ensure that only eligible expenses were charged to the grants and did not follow all Recovery Act reporting requirements. As a result, it incurred $40,041 in ineligible expenses and did not accurately report Recovery Act accomplishments.

We recommend that the Administrator of the Eastern-Woodlands Office of Native American Programs require the tribe to (1) correct the $40,041 in expenses on the reimbursement requests, (2) identify any other ineligible expenses and submit corrected reimbursement requests, and (3) establish controls to ensure that accurate and supported information is included on the Recovery Act quarterly reports. We also recommend that the Administrator perform a follow-up review of the tribe’s identification of other ineligible expenses.