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We audited the City of Pittsburgh, PA’s administration of its Community Development Block Grant program.  We conducted the audit because the City’s program had the second largest number of completed activities without accomplishment information reported nationwide.  Our audit objective was to determine whether the City administered its Block Grant program in accordance with applicable U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Federal requirements.

The City did not always administer its Block Grant program in accordance with HUD and Federal requirements.  Specifically, of seven activities reviewed, the City did not (1) prepare independent cost estimates before awarding contracts for three activities with costs totaling $1.4 million; (2) ensure that more than $1 million disbursed to subrecipients for two activities was for costs that benefited the activity; and (3) document its determination that seven activities with costs totaling $4.7 million were exempt or categorically excluded from environmental review requirements.  Additionally, the City did not always properly report program accomplishments to HUD.  As a result, it could not show that costs totaling more than $4.7 million complied with applicable requirements and that accomplishments were accurately reported.

We recommend that HUD require the City to provide documentation to show that (1) prices paid for products and services totaling $1.4 million were fair and reasonable; (2) disbursements to subrecipients totaling more than $1 million were for costs that benefited the activity; and (3) seven activities with costs of $2.3 million were exempt or categorically excluded from environmental reviews or repay its program from non-Federal funds for any amount that it cannot support.  We also recommend that HUD require the City to review its accomplishment data to ensure accurate reporting.