Sneak Preview: HUD Office Objects to Poor Oversight Findings

July 20, 2018 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

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xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) resoundingly objected to a recent HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) report that found that CPD’s risks assessments and grantee monitoring efforts lacked effective supervisory controls. In response, OIG stood by its findings, adding that CPD misinterpreted its report’s evidence and conclusions.

In federal fiscal years (FY) 2015 and 2016, CPD awarded about $6.6 billion in total formula and competitive grants under several programs, including the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS and the Continuum of Care programs. CPD has developed a risk analysis and monitoring program in which CPD field offices rank grantees by risk, develop an annual work plan for reviewing recipients selected via the risk assessment and monitor those recipients. The risk assessment and monitoring model was developed in response to findings from a 1999 Government Accountability Office report that included recommendations to improve management controls over CPD’s award programs. An OIG report released last year, however, found that CPD did not conduct effective risk assessment or monitoring of recipients in the State Community Development Block Grant program at either the field office or national level.

After evaluating a sample of about 2,200 grants at four CPD field sites from July 2017 to March 2018 for its most recent report, OIG determined that CPD’s risk assessments and monitoring did not provide effective oversight of programs and grantees, and that risk analyses, annual work plans and grantee monitoring did not conform to requirements. “These conditions occurred because CPD headquarters did not have effective supervisory controls, and it structured the risk assessment and monitoring model so that CPD field office directors would have substantial responsibility for ensuring the accuracy and effectiveness of the model,” the report stated. “As a result, CPD did not have assurances that it correctly assessed grantee risk, prepared accurate work plans or monitored grantees in compliance with requirements.”

For example, OIG found that CPD’s grants management data systems identified about 3,000 formula grantee recipients that could be considered for monitoring; however, about 1,100 of those had not been monitored since 2014, and another 701 grantees did not have a monitoring date within the data. Similarly, CPD’s system identified about 3,300 competitive grant recipients that had either not been monitored since 2014 or had no monitoring date in the system.

In addition, field office personnel prepared risk analysis and monitoring exhibits without appropriate supporting documentation or adequate explanation for the 20 sampled grantees that OIG reviewed at the four field offices, compromising the validity of overall risk scores for individual assessments, according to OIG. “Improperly completed risk analysis negatively impacted the annual work plans,” OIG explained. “Specifically, the incorrect or unreliable risk scores affected the ranking of grantees for accurately developing the field office annual work plan and eliminated assurance of accurate identification of grantees for monitoring. Unsupported and insufficiently explained conclusions drawn in the monitoring exhibits left CPD without evidence needed to defend findings and concerns reported to its grantees.”

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

As a reminder, we have all of our Federal Funding Training Forums scheduled for 2018. Please let me know if you have questions or can make any of these. We hope to see you there!

  • Wednesday July 25 – Friday July 27 in MINNEAPOLIS

  • Wednesday October 17 – Friday October 19 in ATLANTA


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