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We audited the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Policy Development and Research’s implementation of the responsibilities stated in the Geospatial Data Act of 2018 (The Act).  We performed this review in response to a congressional mandate that HUD’s geospatial data be audited at least once every 2 years.  The Act requires that we audit HUD’s collection, production, acquisition, maintenance, distribution, use, and preservation of geospatial data.  Our audit objective was to determine whether HUD had implemented the 13 required responsibilities stated in section 759(a) of the Act.

HUD had implemented 9 of the 13 responsibilities stated in section 759(a) of the Act.  It was working toward implementing the remaining four responsibilities stated in sections 759(a)(1), 759(a)(2), 759(a)(4), and 759(a)(5) of the Act.  This condition occurred because HUD did not allocate the necessary resources to ensure that it accomplished all 13 required responsibilities.  As a result, HUD may not meet the necessary standards to promote transparency and accountability in providing accurate and complete information to stakeholders.  Specifically, there is a risk that HUD may not have accurate and complete geospatial data available for use by other Federal agencies; State, local, and tribal governments; and other interested stakeholders.  These uses include public health, economic growth, environmental protection and other purposes, improved policymaking, creation of public-private partnerships, and enhanced data usability and value.

We recommend that the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research take appropriate actions to prioritize the required resources to ensure that HUD fully implements the responsibilities as required by sections 759(a)(1), 759(a)(2), 759(a)(4), and 759(a)(5) of the Act.