January 17, 2013
Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs 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) received $61 million in Weatherization Program Recovery Act grant funding, of which $5.5 million was allocated to Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (Montgomery County). The State's Department of Housing and Community Development was responsible for administering Weatherization Program grants, including funds provided to Montgomery 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 Montgomery County's compliance with Federal and State laws, regulations and program guidelines applicable to the Weatherization Program. The examination found that Montgomery County had not properly accounted for 6 of 45 transactions reviewed, or 13 percent, charging the Weatherization Program $13,000 for items, including heating system repairs/replacements that, according to State policy, should have been paid with funds from other energy-related programs; and, had not maintained records adequately accounting for equipment. The issues identified were due, in part, to inadequate supervisory review of the reimbursement process to ensure that requests for reimbursements under the Recovery Act are matched to underlying accounting records, such as invoices and receiving reports. In response, the Department concurred with the recommendation and indicated that corrective action was taken to improve administration of Weatherization Program funds.