Distressed Public Housing

AIMD-94-78R Published: May 10, 1994. Publicly Released: May 10, 1994.
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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing's financial transactions. GAO noted that: (1) the Commission disbursed about $2 million for contracts, travel, payroll, and miscellaneous transactions during its existence; (2) although the Commission did not always adhere to proper administrative procedures, its disbursements appeared to be reasonable and properly authorized and documented; (3) accounting procedure problems involved unsigned approvals for contracts and purchase orders, inadequately documented expenses and invoices, and unsupported travel expenses; and (4) the General Services Administration needs to reconcile and recover any erroneous Commission payments and ensure that other similar entities use proper accounting and disbursing procedures.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
General Services Administration The Administrator of General Services should direct the External Services Division to review and reconcile the payments made by the Commission and take appropriate actions to recover any funds due the government.
Closed – Implemented
GSA has reviewed the questionable items identified during the review and provided documentation to support all but two items--(1) a $118 possible overpayment on a $230,000 contract and (2) a $58 over-reimbursement for travel. For both items, GSA determined that it was not cost-effective to initiate collection efforts.
General Services Administration The Administrator of General Services should take the appropriate steps to ensure the proper performance of its accounting and disbursing support operations for entities similar to the Commission.
Closed – Implemented
In a series of staff meetings in August 1993, the draft report was discussed in detail and the appropriate policies were discussed and reinforced as a point of reference for the administrative issues reported.

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