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Examination Report: OAS-RA-13-05

January 17, 2013

Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development – Weatherization Assistance Program Funds Provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) the Weatherization Assistance Program (Weatherization Program) received $5 billion to reduce energy consumption for low-income households through energy efficient upgrades.  The State of Maryland (State) Department of Housing and Community Development received $61 million in Recovery Act Weatherization Program funding, of which $2.1 million was allocated to the Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development (County).  The State was responsible for administering Weatherization Program grants, including funds provided to the County.  The Department of Energy's (Department) Office of Inspector General contracted with an independent certified public accounting firm, Lani Eko & Company, CPAs, PLLC (Lani Eko) to express an opinion on the County's compliance with Federal and State laws, regulations and program guidelines applicable to the Weatherization Program.  Lani Eko disclaimed an opinion on whether the County had complied with the requirements and guidelines relative to the Weatherization Program.  In May 2011, the former County Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development in charge of the Weatherization Program pled guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion in taking bribes from developers on housing projects.  Although the charges were unrelated to weatherization, the County Director was directly responsible for management of the Weatherization Program.  Comments provided by the Department were responsive to the concerns raised in the report.

Topic: Financial Assistance