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We audited the Housing Choice Voucher and public housing programs at the West Warwick Housing Authority as a result of concerns from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and a hotline complaint.  The audit objectives were to determine whether (1) procurements were executed in accordance with Federal regulations, (2) West Warwick officials established adequate controls over the Housing Choice Voucher and public housing programs to ensure compliance with HUD regulations, and (3) purchases and inventory were reasonable and adequately supported. 


West Warwick’s procurements did not comply with Federal requirements.  Thirteen procurements totaling more than $2 million had deficiencies, including no independent cost estimates, no contracts, no record of bids or requests for proposals, no price evaluations, no completion certifications, and only one notice to proceed.  West Warwick’s Housing Choice Voucher and public housing programs did not operate in compliance with HUD requirements due to a lack of policies and procedures and inadequately trained staff.  In addition, its credit card charges and petty cash purchases were not supported, and its assets were not protected. 

We recommend that the Director of Public Housing require West Warwick to (1) provide support for procurements totaling more than $2 million or repay HUD from non-Federal funds, (2) develop and implement controls over its procurement process, (3) develop and implement policies and procedures for the Housing Choice Voucher and public housing programs, (4) provide support for $18,501 in credit card charges or repay HUD from non-Federal funds, (5) provide support for $4,530 in petty cash purchases or repay HUD from non-Federal funds, and (6) develop and maintain property records and conduct an inventory in accordance with Federal regulations.

Recommendation Status Date Issued Summary
2017-BO-1006-001-A Closed August 18, 2017 Provide documentation to support that $2,063,351 was spent for reasonable and necessary costs. Any amount that cannot be supported should be repaid to the Housing Choice Voucher or public housing programs from non-Federal funds.
2017-BO-1006-001-B Closed August 18, 2017 Reimburse the Housing Choice Voucher and public housing programs $2,752 from non-Federal sources for improper conflict-of-interest purchases.
2017-BO-1006-001-C Closed August 18, 2017 Deobligate $6,100 from the asbestos abatement procurement and redistribute the funds to the public housing programs for eligible purposes.
2017-BO-1006-001-D Closed August 18, 2017 Develop and implement procurement policies and procedures that comply with Federal, State, and local laws.
2017-BO-1006-001-E Closed August 18, 2017 Develop and implement controls to ensure that contracts are in place when applicable.
2017-BO-1006-001-F Closed August 18, 2017 Develop and enforce written conflict-of-interest requirements in compliance with Federal rules and regulations.
2017-BO-1006-001-G Closed August 18, 2017 Develop and maintain a contract management system, including a contract register for all procurements.
2017-BO-1006-001-H Closed August 18, 2017 Evaluate the training of West Warwick’s board of commissioners and determine whether additional training is required or other changes are appropriate.
2017-BO-1006-002-A Closed August 18, 2017 .Develop and implement written policies and procedures to ensure that each Housing Choice Voucher program tenant file has an appropriately documented rent reasonableness determination.
2017-BO-1006-002-B Closed August 18, 2017 Develop and implement written policies and procedures to ensure that each public housing unit has an annual inspection, which is appropriately documented in the tenant file.
2017-BO-1006-002-C Closed August 18, 2017 Determine whether tenants were underpaid for utility allowances and if so, reimburse the tenants from non-Federal funds.
2017-BO-1006-002-D Closed August 18, 2017 Evaluate the training of West Warwick employees and determine what additional training is necessary..
2017-BO-1006-003-A Closed August 18, 2017 Provide documentation to support that $18,501 in credit card charges was spent for reasonable and necessary costs. Any amount that cannot be supported should be repaid from non-Federal funds and returned to the Housing Choice Voucher and public housing programs.
2017-BO-1006-003-B Closed August 18, 2017 Provide documentation to support that $4,530 in petty cash funds was spent for reasonable and necessary costs. Any amount that cannot be supported should be repaid from non-Federal funds and returned to the Housing Choice Voucher and public housing programs.
2017-BO-1006-003-C Closed August 18, 2017 Develop and maintain property records and conduct an inventory in accordance with Federal regulations.