Sneak Preview: OIG Calls for Codified Rules for Recovery Program

August 24, 2018 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

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(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Single Audit Information Servicexsass_bookshot.) The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) maintained that HUD has the authority to codify regulations for the Community Development Block Grants — Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, recommending in a recent audit that the agency do so. However, HUD officials contended that Congress must determine CDBG-DR’s regulatory standing.

OIG evaluated HUD’s Office of Block Grants Assistance’s (OBGA) administration of the CDBG-DR program from September 2001 through September 2017. Congress provides supplemental appropriations to HUD under the CDBG-DR program, and these funds are used for activities authorized under Title I of the Housing and Community Develop Act of 1974 (12 U.S.C. §1706e), as amended, related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas resulting from a major disaster. Congress also enabled HUD to issue waivers to any Title I statute or regulation.

Although OBGA has managed nearly $50 billion in CDBG-DR funds since 2002, it has not codified the program in the Code of Federal Regulations, contending that each disaster supplemental appropriation was unique, and that the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Pub. L. 100-107) did not grant HUD the authority to create regulations for the CDBG-DR program. Instead, OBGA has issued multiple requirements and waivers for each disaster recovery supplemental appropriation in Federal Register notices. From 2001 to 2016, it issued 63 Federal Register notices to address CDBG-DR funding.

OIG found the use of multiple Federal Register notices challenging for grant recipients because grantees had to refer to an increasing number of notices to operate their program, and assess which of the varied requirements pertained to their particular grant. “If OBGA codified the program, it could reduce the number of existing Federal Register notices it uses to operate the program,” OIG said.

(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, our final Federal Funding Training Forum scheduled for 2018 will be Wednesday October 17 through Friday October 19 in Atlanta. Please let me know if you have questions or can make this forum. We hope to see you there!

In addition, we are now offering a procurement boot camp Wednesday October 24 in Washington, D.C. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in this program!


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