Bridgeport Housing Authority Didn't Ensure Expenses Were Eligible, Reasonable, and Supported
HUD audited the Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport, Conn., based on a request from HUD’s Hartford field office. HUD officials were concerned about the authority due to significant financial deficiencies that weren’t corrected in a timely manner.
Auditors found that authority officials didn’t always ensure that expenses charged to the authority’s federal programs were eligible, reasonable, and supported. Specifically, they didn’t: (1) properly charge and support all costs allocated to federal housing programs; (2) adequately manage maintenance costs; and (3) ensure that employee healthcare and liability insurance policies were obtained at the most cost-effective price.
Auditors determined that these deficiencies occurred because authority officials improperly implemented asset management procedures and didn’t provide formal accounting procedures and supervision. As a result, ineligible costs of more than $895,000 were incurred, and more than $790,000 in charges were unsupported. These improper charges weakened the projects’ financial position and left fewer funds for operations. Also, with diminishing budgets and staffing levels, diverting staff from federal to non-federal properties could result in degraded maintenance at the federal properties.
The auditors recommended that the director of HUD’s Hartford Office of Public and Indian Housing require authority officials to: (1) repay more than $895,000 in ineligible costs and support or repay more than $790,000 in costs charged to the authority’s federal programs; (2) measure and monitor the maintenance staff’s productivity and rotate work schedules to avoid unnecessary overtime costs; (3) develop procedures to obtain insurance competitively; and (4) train staff on asset management rules.
- HUD Audit Report No. 2014-BO-1001, Jan. 24, 2014