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We audited the Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport, CT, based on a request from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Hartford, CT, field office.  HUD officials were concerned about the Authority due to significant financial deficiencies that were not corrected in a timely manner.  Our audit objective was to determine whether Authority officials ensured that expenses charged to Federal programs were eligible, reasonable, and supported.
Authority officials did not always ensure that expenses charged to the Authority’s Federal programs were eligible, reasonable, and supported.  Specifically, they did not (1) properly charge and support all costs allocated to Federal housing programs, (2) adequately manage maintenance costs, and (3) ensure that employee health care and liability insurance policies were obtained at the most cost-effective price.  These deficiencies occurred because Authority officials improperly implemented asset management procedures and did not provide formal accounting procedures and supervision.  As a result, ineligible costs of more than $895,000 were incurred, and more than $790,000 in charges was unsupported.  These improper charges weakened the projects’ financial position and left fewer funds for operations.  Also, with diminishing budgets and staffing levels, diverting staff from Federal to non-Federal properties could result in degraded maintenance at the Federal properties.

We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Hartford Office of Public and Indian Housing require Authority officials to (1) repay more than $895,000 in ineligible costs and support or repay more than $790,000 in costs charged to the Authority’s Federal programs, (2) measure and monitor the maintenance staff’s productivity and rotate work schedules to avoid unnecessary overtime costs, (3) develop procedures to competitively obtain insurance, and (4) train staff on asset management rules.