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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General initiated an audit of the Opelousas Housing Authority’s Public Housing Capital Fund Stimulus Recovery Act-funded grant as part of our annual audit plan. Our objective was to determine whether the Authority (1) followed the requirements of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 when obligating its Recovery Act capital funds and when procuring contracts for goods or services, (2) properly expended its Recovery Act Capital Funds in accordance with the requirements and (3) accurately reported its Recovery Act activities.

The Authority did not properly obligate Recovery Act funds spent to purchase refrigerators, hot water heaters, and a window air conditioning unit. As related to the procurement of its Recovery Act architect’s contract, the Authority did not (1) ensure that it had adequate competition, (2) perform a cost or price analysis, and (3) prepare an independent cost estimate. This deficiency occurred because the Authority did not fully understand the obligation and procurement requirements. As a result, it incurred $188,038 in ineligible and $87,675 in unsupported costs.

In addition, the Authority did not always ensure that its Recovery Act expenditures were adequately supported with documentation such as hotel invoices and receipts for tenant reimbursements. This deficiency occurred because the Authority did not (1) follow its or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) written policies and procedures and (2) have adequate written accounting policies and procedures. As a result, it incurred $27,920 in unsupported costs.