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In accordance with the statutory requirements of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) and standards established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, we audited the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s (OCFO) compliance with the DATA Act for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.  The audit was part of the activities included in our 2019 annual audit plan.  Our objectives were to assess the (1) completeness, accuracy, timeliness, and quality of the financial and award data submitted for publication on USASpending.gov and (2) HUD’s implementation and use of the governmentwide financial data standards established by OMB and Treasury.

HUD OCFO generally complied with the reporting requirements of the DATA Act.  The information it submitted for inclusion on USASpending.gov for the first quarter, fiscal year 2019, was complete, accurate, timely, and in accordance with the governmentwide data standards established by OMB and Treasury.  Although we determined that HUD’s overall data quality was high, we identified a few exceptions.  Specifically, we determined that data were not initially complete and the data elements could not always be traced to source documentation.  In addition, HUD had DATA Act procedures documents that contained inconsistent information.  The weaknesses occurred because (1) some program activity codes were disabled in HUD’s Oracle Federal Financials system, (2) data such as Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) numbers and zip codes was missing or invalid, (3) HUD could not provide source documentation or the data elements did not match the source documents, and (4) there was a lack of coordination among the HUD offices to ensure that policies and procedures for the DATA Act were consistent.  As a result, HUD could improve the accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of its data submitted to USASpending.gov.

We recommend that HUD’s CFO and senior accountable official continue to work to improve data quality and ensure that (1) required data are complete, accurate, and reported in a timely manner, (2) all data elements are traceable to the source documentation, and (3) procedures for DATA Act reporting are consistent among its various offices. 

Recommendations

Key Details
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  Open
  Closed
Funds Put to Better Use
Funds Put to Better Use

Recommendations that funds be put to better use estimate funds that could be used more efficiently. For example, recommendations that funds be put to better use could result in reductions in spending, deobligation of funds, or avoidance of unnecessary spending.

Questioned Costs
Questioned Costs

Recommendations with questioned costs identify costs: (A) resulting from an alleged violation of a law, regulation, contract, grant, or other document or agreement governing the use of Federal funds; (B) that are not supported by adequate documentation (also known as an unsupported cost); or (C) that appear unnecessary or unreasonable.

Sensitive
Sensitive

Sensitive information refers to information that could have a damaging import if released to the public and, therefore, must be restricted from public disclosure.

Priority
Priority

We believe these open recommendations, if implemented, will have the greatest impact on helping HUD achieve its mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.

Chief Financial Officer

  •   2020-CH-0001-001-A

    Closed on October 22, 2021

    Implement adequate procedures and controls to ensure that all required data are complete, accurate, and reported in a timely manner. These procedures and controls should include but not be limited to ensuring that all transactions are recorded and reported within the proper period and listing the source of each of the data elements, including how to obtain the source documentation from HUD’s various program offices or systems.

  •   2020-CH-0001-001-B

    Closed on October 22, 2021

    Implement adequate procedures and controls to ensure that all data elements are traceable to the source documentation.

  •   2020-CH-0001-001-C

    Closed on October 25, 2021

    Revise internal DATA Act policy and procedure documents to resolve inconsistencies to ensure full, appropriate, and consistent implementation of the DATA Act.