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In coordination with our Office of Investigations, we audited the Housing Authority of the City of Jasper, TX, because we received a complaint.  The complainant’s allegations included the executive director’s misuse of Authority vehicles and other issues.  Our audit objective was to determine whether the Authority operated its Public Housing programs in compliance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) requirements. 

The complaint had valid allegations.  While the Authority properly administered its rental receipts and payroll for the months tested, it did not properly administer its public housing funds.  The improper administration of funds occurred because the executive director did not understand or follow Federal and Authority requirements, and the board did not provide adequate oversight.  As a result, the Authority paid $91,956 in questioned costs.

In addition, members of the Authority’s board of commissioners were not properly appointed in a timely manner.  The untimely appointments occurred because the prior and current Mayor lacked knowledge about their responsibility to appoint commissioners.  Thus, the board did not hold meetings as required and did not provide proper oversight of the Authority.

We recommend that the HUD Office of Public Housing require the Authority to support or repay questioned costs totaling $91,956.  In addition, we recommend that the Departmental Enforcement Center take appropriate administrative sanctions and seek civil money penalties against the executive director.  Further, we recommend that the Associate General Counsel for Program Enforcement determine legal sufficiency, and if legally sufficient, pursue remedies under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act against the executive director.

 

Recommendation Status Date Issued Summary
2017-FW-1006-001-A Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Repay from nonfederal funds $27,818 to its Capital Funds program from non-Federal funds for the ineligible purchase of the truck and expenditure of 2013 funds before they were available.
2017-FW-1006-001-B Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Repay from nonfederal funds its HUD programs $7,446 for the executive director’s personal use of the Authority’s equipment, and amend the executive director’s prior Internal Revenue Forms W-2 to include the annual personal use of $5,888 as income.
2017-FW-1006-001-C Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Repay from nonfederal funds its HUD programs $4,739 paid to its fee accountant, which had a conflict of interest with the executive director.
2017-FW-1006-001-D Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Repay from nonfederal funds its HUD programs $1,273 lost on the conflict of interest sale of the Authority’s vehicle to the executive director’s daughter.
2017-FW-1006-001-E Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Repay from nonfederal funds its HUD programs $1,034 for ineligible charges on the Authority’s credit cards.
2017-FW-1006-001-F Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Support or repay from nonfederal funds its HUD programs $652 for unsupported charges on the Authority’s credit card.
2017-FW-1006-001-G Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Repay from nonfederal funds its HUD programs $4,000 paid for an ineligible 2011 training conference.
2017-FW-1006-001-H Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Provide support for the reasonableness of the unit repairs costs totaling $44,994 and repay from nonfederal funds any unsupported or unreasonable amount.
2017-FW-1006-001-I Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Provide training for the Authority’s commissioners on their responsibilities and duties.
2017-FW-1006-001-J Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Require the Authority to update its policies and procedures so that they contain current Federal guidance.
2017-FW-1006-001-K Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 We recommend that the Director, Departmental Enforcement Center take appropriate administrative sanctions, including suspension, limited denial of participation, or debarment against the executive director.
2017-FW-1006-001-L Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 We recommend that the Director, Departmental Enforcement Center seek civil money penalties, as appropriate, against the executive director.
2017-FW-1006-001-M Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 We recommend that the Associate General Counsel for Program Enforcement determine legal sufficiency and, if legally sufficient, pursue remedies under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act against the executive director.
2017-FW-1006-002-A Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Provide technical assistance to the Mayor and the board concerning their responsibilities regarding the Authority.
2017-FW-1006-002-B Cerrado Abril 26, 2017 Monitor the Authority to ensure it is holding its board meetings, as required by its bylaws.