We reviewed the Office of Native American Programs' (ONAP) Front-End Risk Assessment (FERA) for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) funding for Native American Block Grant housing programs as part of our annual audit plan. Our objective was to determine whether the FERA complied with the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) guidance for implementation of the Recovery Act, the Recovery Act's streamlined FERA process, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Handbook 1840.1, Departmental Management Control Program.
The FERA was generally prepared in accordance with OMB requirements and the Recovery Act programs are similar to the existing NAHASDA program. We perceive that the overall risks will also be similar to those under NAHASDA, except for those associated with the additional workloads. The FERA stated that ONAP planned to fill 34 existing vacancies and hire an additional 12 temporary employees to meet the increased reporting requirements and other responsibilities under the Recovery Act. However, if ONAP hires a significant number of new staff, it will need to ensure that the new staff members receive sufficient and timely training to be effective in the administration and oversight of Recovery Act funds.