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We audited the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s use of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds in accordance with the Office of Inspector General’s goal to ensure the integrity and soundness of HUD’s Public and Indian Housing programs and to follow up on weaknesses identified in other reviews.  The audit objective was to determine whether the Nation complied with HUD requirements when it housed families and procured contracts under its Indian Housing Block Grant program.

The Nation did not (1) obtain HUD’s approval to lease to a non-low-income family, (2) charge the non-low-income family the proper amount of rent, (3) require a participant to recertify her income and family composition, (4) require a manager to remove herself from a conflict of interest situation, (5) support the fairness and reasonableness of its contracts, (6) have complete procurement documents, (7) include mandatory clauses in its procurement contracts, (8) collect sufficient income information for one participant, and (9) maintain supporting documents for two housing inspections.  These conditions occurred because the Nation’s staff did not follow its or HUD’s requirements.  In addition, the Nation’s payments and rents policy did not comply with Federal regulations.  As a result, it could not ensure that it used Indian Housing Block Grant funds to provide safe, efficient, and affordable housing to its eligible citizens.  These deficiencies resulted in more than $219,000 in questionable expenditures.

We recommended that the Administrator of the Southern Plains Office of Native American Programs require the Nation to (1) repay $120,581 to its Indian Housing Block Grant program, from non-Federal funds, for housing not approved by HUD, (2) support or repay $13,878 in uncollected rent to its Indian Housing Block Grant program from non-Federal funds, (3) revise its payments and rents policy to prevent undercharging rent, and (4) support or repay to its Indian Housing Block Grant program, from non-Federal funds, $85,380 spent on questionable procurements.  Further, we recommend that the Nation improve its controls over recertification of participants and inspections of homes and revise its contracts and leases.