January 20, 2012
Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, Inc. –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 approximately $394 million in a Recovery Act weatherization grant to the State of New York's Division of Housing and Community Renewal. The State of New York allocated about $6.9 million of its grant to Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, Inc. (SARA) to weatherize 982 homes/units. The Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General contracted with Otis and Associates, PC (Otis), an independent public accounting firm, to conduct examinations of the weatherization activities of SARA.
The examination found that documentation supporting the evaluation of subcontractors was not available from SARA; purchases made did not comply with the State of New York's and SARA's policies and procedures; a lack of adequate segregation of duties existed in Weatherization Program administration; adequate records were not maintained by SARA to support the quarterly reports, as required by the Weatherization Program; cash advances were not deposited in an interest bearing account, as required; a cash advance received by SARA for the Recovery Act Weatherization Program was not properly recorded in the accounting system; and, vehicle and equipment usage, maintenance, and repair records were not maintained by SARA.