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We conducted a review of the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s compliance with Federal lobbying disclosure requirements and restrictions based on concerns noted during our ongoing internal audit of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) oversight of public housing authorities’ compliance with Federal lobbying disclosure requirements.  Our review objective was to determine whether the Authority complied with Federal lobbying disclosure requirements and restrictions.

We found that the Authority failed to disclose lobbying activities and improperly spent potentially $80,000 in Federal funds on lobbying.  The Authority’s former executive director falsely certified on at least two occasions that the Authority had no lobbying activities to disclose, and falsely certified that the Authority had not, or would not spend Federal funds on lobbying.

We recommend that the Director of HUD’s Pittsburgh Office of Public Housing (1) require the Authority to provide documentation to show the actual amount it paid for Federal lobbying activities and reimburse its program that amount from non-Federal funds, or repay its program $80,000 from non-Federal funds for funds it improperly spent on lobbying activities; (2) ensure that responsible Authority officials are formally trained in lobbying disclosure requirements and restrictions; and (3) ensure that all future HUD monitoring of the Authority covers compliance with Federal lobbying disclosure requirements and restrictions.