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We audited the City of West Palm Beach’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program.  The City was selected for review because (1) our audit plan included audits of HOME grantees, (2) the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Miami Office of Community Planning and Development ranked the City as high risk in its 2012 risk assessment, and (3) the most recent HUD monitoring review in 2012 identified concerns with the City’s administration of the HOME program.  Our objective was to determine whether the City administered its HOME program in accordance with applicable HUD requirements.

The City did not always administer its HOME program in accordance with applicable HUD requirements.  Specifically, it did not properly commit HOME funds or accurately report activity information in HUD’s Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS).  These conditions occurred because the City did not enforce HUD’s 24-month commitment deadline requirement and did not have effective procedures to ensure that it reported current and accurate information in IDIS.  This deficiency resulted in $559,289 in HOME funds not being properly committed because activities were committed after the 24-month deadline, and two activities totaling $1 million were canceled, but the funds were not made available for other eligible HOME activities.

In addition, the City did not ensure that it charged adequately supported and eligible expenditures to the program.  These expenditures were related to project delivery and operating costs.  This condition occurred because City staff did not exercise due care in reviewing and supporting the City’s expenditures.  As a result, the City charged the HOME program more than $1.2 million in unsupported costs and $229,777 in ineligible costs.

We recommend that the Director of the Miami Office of Community Planning and Development require the City to (1) recapture $559,289 in HOME funds that it did not commit by the 24-month statutory deadline, (2) reprogram $988,272 in canceled activity funds and determine whether $11,728 drawn down was for eligible expenditures, (3) provide support or reimburse its program more than $1.2 million for unsupported expenditures from non-Federal funds, and (4) reimburse $229,777 in ineligible costs from non-Federal funds.