HUD's Oversight of Procurement by Public Housing Authorities Needs Strengthening

PLRD-81-68: Published: Sep 30, 1981. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1981.

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A review was conducted of selected housing authorities' procurement practices. The adequacy of the procurement of goods by the housing authorities and the monitoring of that procurement by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) were evaluated.

GAO found that the personnel responsible for procurement at the six housing authorities reviewed frequently lacked the skills and knowledge about the techniques needed to make efficient and economical buys. As a result, there was no assurance that competition was being obtained to the maximum extent feasible or that payments were being made for goods actually delivered or for services actually performed. GAO also found that the HUD periodic reviews of the authorities' procurement practices did not disclose the situations found by GAO because the guidance given by HUD was much too general. To correct the problems identified by GAO, HUD has initiated the following actions: (1) a procurement handbook has been drafted for the authorities' use and will soon be issued; (2) a procurement training program will be developed; and (3) HUD will make sure that procurement is covered during management reviews which deal with detecting fraud and abuse. Because of the actions planned by HUD, GAO concluded its review without fully developing the effects of the poor procurement practices of the authorities.

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