September 29, 2011
Cuyahoga County of Ohio Department of Development – Weatherization Assistance Program Funds Provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), the Department of Energy's (Department) Weatherization Assistance Program (Weatherization Program) received $5 billion to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons. Subsequently, the Department awarded a 3-year, $267 million Recovery Act weatherization grant to the State of Ohio's Department of Development (Ohio or State). The State of Ohio allocated about $9.4 million of its grant to the Cuyahoga County of Ohio Department of Development (County) to weatherize 1,121 homes. The Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General contracted with Lopez and Company, LLC, an independent public accounting firm, to conduct an examination of the weatherization activities of the County.
Lopez and Company, LLC found that the County had not always complied with laws, regulations, and program guidelines. For example, Lopez and Company, LLC identified a risk that ineligible applicants may be approved for weatherization services based on outdated income information. Additionally, more than $76,000 in accrued interest was not remitted to the U.S. Department of the Treasury on a quarterly basis as required by Federal regulations. Further, of the 35 homes/client files Lopez and Company, LLC reviewed for quality of work, 13 had final inspections that identified re-work was needed and many client files lacked required documentation. Finally, the number of contractor work hours with funding from the Recovery Act was underreported to the State and not verified for Davis-Bacon compliance. County officials concurred with the findings and recommendations and submitted planned corrective actions to remedy deficiencies noted in the report.