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The State of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Road Home Program, ICF, Did Not Always Provide Contract Deliverables as Required

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General audited the State of Louisiana's (State) Road Home program (Road Home) housing manager's performance under a contract worth more than $750 million. The State is a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) disaster recovery grantee under the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2006. We initiated the audit in conjunction with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Gulf Coast Region's audit plan and examination of relief efforts provided by the federal government in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Our objective was to determine whether the Road Home housing manager, ICF Emergency Management Services (ICF), provided contract deliverables in accordance with the terms and conditions of its contract with the State.

The State's Road Home housing manager, ICF, did not always provide contract deliverables in accordance with the terms and conditions of its contract with the State, thereby causing the State to reject the deliverables. Specifically, the State rejected 6 of 80 deliverables provided by ICF. Of the six rejected deliverables, the homeowner management information system deliverable was most critical, since it was the core processing mechanism needed for the progress of the homeowner assistance program. This condition occurred because of many State-imposed program changes, ICF's incapacity to adopt those changes by delivery dates defined by contract, and the State's lack of an adequate monitoring system to ensure that ICF provided contract deliverables by their due dates. Collectively, the management information system, in conjunction with the State's perpetual modification requirements to the system, and inadequate monitoring of system modification requirements during phase 1, contributed to delaying the distribution of grants to eligible homeowners.

We recommend that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development require the State to set realistic goals for ICF, taking timely appropriate action against ICF when performance problems arise as stipulated by the contract; and verify whether the State adequately implemented its new monitoring policies and procedures.