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We initiated a review of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) monitoring of the performance-based contract administration contract administrators (PBCA) because of our prior audits that reported that HUD paid contract administrators $27.2 million during fiscal year 2006 for work HUD had eliminated and that the Los Angeles multifamily hub did not properly monitor its contractor. Our audit objective was to determine whether HUD’s monitoring of the contract administrators nationwide was adequate.

Our audit found that HUD did not adequately monitor the PBCAs’ performance with respect to the Section 8 performance-based contract administration initiative resulting in a lack of assurance that Section 8 rental subsidies were correctly calculated and paid, project-based Section 8 housing assistance payments contracts were administered consistently, and it received quality work and the best value for more than $28 million spent on administrative fees paid to the PBCAs monitored by the six hubs reviewed. This condition occurred because HUD failed to establish clear, consistent policies and procedures for administering and monitoring the performance-based contract administration program.

We recommended that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing revise the performance-based contract administration initiative guides to (1) clarify inconsistencies or unclear guidance in monitoring the PBCAs, including clarification of PBCA performance that requires issuing incentive fees or the assessment of disincentives, (2) ensure that HUD staff follow the revised guidance when conducting the annual compliance reviews and monthly remote reviews to ensure that it receives quality work and the best value for funds spent on contract administration activities, and (3) reassess the resources allocated to overseeing the contract administrators to ensure that the resources are sufficient to monitor the PBCAs’ performance.