Sneak Preview: OIG Urges HUD To Increase Reliability of SEMAP

September 21, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General urged HUD to improve its internal controls over the Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) by reducing its reliance on self-certified public housing agency data and Circular A-133 single audits.

Under SEMAP, HUD assesses whether Section 8 tenant-based assistance programs help eligible families afford suitable rental units at the correct subsidy cost. In addition, HUD measures PHA performance in key Section 8 program areas and assigns performance ratings. SEMAP provides procedures for HUD to review PHA management capabilities and identify deficiencies so that it can evaluate performance and program assistance more effectively.

A recent OIG audit, however, found that the program did not accurately assess PHAs’ Section 8 administrative performance because HUD did not have sufficient management controls, and field office staff inconsistently monitored compliance. “As a result, SEMAP’s objective of identifying underperforming PHAs was not always achieved,” it added.

HUD originally planned to use PHA’s Circular A-133 single audits to rate the performance of PHAs, with auditors testing compliance under eight specific indicators. However, the Office of Management and Budget ruled that HUD could not use Circular A-133 in this manner, requiring specific testing and response on compliance. Therefore, HUD changed its management control approach and based SEMAP ratings on self-certification by the PHAs.


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