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Audit Report: OAS-RA-13-07

January 17, 2013 

The Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program Funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the State of Maryland

The Department of Energy's (Department) Weatherization Assistance Program received $5 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) to improve the energy efficiency of residences owned or occupied by low-income persons.  The Department subsequently awarded a 3-year Recovery Act Weatherization Assistance Program (Weatherization Program) grant of $61.4 million to the State of Maryland (Maryland or State) to weatherize 6,850 homes.  This grant provided over eight times the approximately $7.4 million in Weatherization funds made available to Maryland in Fiscal Year 2009.  The audit found that Maryland, while achieving its production goals, had not always managed its Weatherization Program efficiently and effectively.  For instance, local agencies charged 50 percent of total weatherization costs, up to $1,500 per house, for "program support" costs (costs necessary to weatherize a home that are not otherwise captured in the direct labor and materials) that were not substantiated.  Also, recent State monitoring reports disclosed that other local agencies had not reconciled program support expenditures to reimbursements  As a result, about $9.56 million in reimbursement claims for direct weatherization expenditures and program support costs were questioned.  The deficiencies identified were caused by a lack of adherence to Federal regulations by local agencies. Additionally, the deficiencies were not promptly detected because of a lack of adequate local agency monitoring by the State.  In response to the finding, the Department agreed with the recommendations and indicated that corrective actions were initiated to resolve issues identified.

Topic: Financial Assistance