We audited the State of Georgia’s monitoring of its Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria (HIM) grants’ activities and subrecipients. We initiated this audit to further HUD’s strategic objective to support effectiveness and accountability in long-term disaster recovery. HUD awarded more than $50.9 million in disaster recovery funds to the State for the natural disasters that occurred in January and September 2017. Our objective was to determine whether the State effectively monitored its CDBG-DR HIM grants’ activities and subrecipients to ensure that the activities addressed unmet long-term recovery needs.
The State’s approach and efforts to conduct monitoring reviews of its HIM grant activities and subrecipients were not sufficient. Specifically, the State (1) lacked an understanding of the differences between monitoring reviews and day-to-day operations, (2) had inadequate monitoring procedures, and (3) lacked policies and procedures to conduct remote monitoring. As a result, HUD and the State did not have assurance that the State’s controls for program administration were effective for addressing unmet long-term recovery needs. There was also a risk that the planned activities would not serve the State’s beneficiaries in a timely manner or meet its goals for the number of beneficiaries it planned to serve.
We recommend that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs instruct the State to ensure that it has an adequate approach for monitoring by (1) providing training to staff that includes an understanding of monitoring reviews, (2) updating its policies and procedures, and (3) developing policies and procedures to ensure that monitoring is conducted remotely if needed. We also recommend that the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs monitor the State’s CDBG-DR program to ensure that performance expectations are achieved.