The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector General audited how the Yakama Nation Housing Authority used its nearly $4.9 million Native American Housing Block Grant provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Our objectives were to determine whether the Authority properly spent its Recovery Act funds, correctly obtained small purchases, and properly reported Recovery Act information in FederalReporting.gov. The Authority did not always properly spend its Recovery Act funds. It (1) spent $1.2 million in Recovery Act funds without being able to show that the funds were used on the projects, (2) purchased more than $177,000 worth of unnecessary materials, (3) charged the grant for routine maintenance staff meetings, (4) did not always pay the prevailing Davis-Bacon wages, and (5) paid employees for hours not worked. In addition, it split purchases that would have required it to obtain multiple price quotations and did not properly report the project activity descriptions, the number of homes it planned to repair, the amount of its vendor payments, and the number of jobs created in FederalReporting.gov.
We recommend that the Administrator of the Office of Native American Programs require the Authority to provide support showing that almost $1.2 million was spent on the projects or reimburse HUD for transmission to the U.S. Treasury from non-Federal funds for expenditures it is unable to support and provide support showing that $372,000 worth of materials purchased was the best value possible or reimburse HUD for transmission to the U.S. Treasury from non-Federal funds.