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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector General initiated an audit of the Jefferson Parish Housing Authority’s (Authority) Public Housing Capital Fund Stimulus (formula) Recovery Act-funded grant as a part of our annual audit plan and goal to review funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Our objective was to determine whether the Authority followed Recovery Act requirements. Specifically, we wanted to determine whether it (1) expended Recovery Act funds in accordance with requirements, (2) maintained inventory controls over its fixed assets to ensure that Recovery Act funds were used efficiently, (3) obligated Recovery Act funds in accordance with requirements, (4) followed the Recovery Act requirements when procuring goods or services, and (5) accurately reported its Recovery Act activities.

The Authority generally ensured that it followed Recovery Act requirements when expending Recovery Act funds and maintaining inventory controls over its fixed assets, although we identified minor deficiencies in these areas. However, it did not properly obligate part of its Recovery Act funding by the obligation deadline and made purchases in excess of its need. In addition, the Authority did not always properly conduct its Recovery Act procurements. We attribute these issues to the Authority (1) not understanding the Recovery Act obligation requirements, (2) not being aware of the applicable Federal cost principles related to allowable costs, (3) not following its own procurement policies and procedures, and (4) not following Recovery Act procurement requirements. Consequently, it incurred $79,511 in ineligible and $30,000 in unsupported costs and could not provide reasonable assurance that Recovery Act funds were used effectively and efficiently or to benefit program participants.

The Authority did not always completely or accurately report its Recovery Act activities and submitted its final Recovery Act report before it expended all of its Recovery Act funds. We attribute these issues to the Authority not understanding the Recovery Act reporting process and not providing adequate oversight of its contractor. Consequently, the public did not have access to accurate information, and the Authority’s use of Recovery Act funds was not transparent.

We recommend that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Director of Public Housing require the Authority to (1) repay $79,511 in ineligible costs, and (2) support $30,000 or repay any amounts it cannot support. In addition, as related to its Federalreporting.gov submissions, HUD should require the Authority to (1) correct inaccurate data entered for the third and fourth quarters of 2009 and the first, second, and third quarters of 2010 and (2) correct and resubmit its final report in the correct reporting period, and submit the missing reports for the fourth quarter of 2010 and first quarter of 2011.