Report 2018-037 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2018-037: California Department of Housing and Community Development: Its Oversight of Housing Bond Funds Remains Inconsistent (Release Date: September 2018)

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Recommendations to Housing and Community Development, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
3

To ensure that it appropriately monitors CalHome as required by statute, regulation, and program guidelines, HCD should, by January 1, 2019, develop an annual plan for its CalHome on-site visits, which should be based on its risk assessments. The risk assessments should consider, among other things, which recipients have not submitted required performance reports.

4

To ensure that it appropriately monitors CalHome as required by statute, regulation, and program guidelines, HCD should perform the on-site visits it proposes in its annual plan.

5

To ensure that it appropriately monitors CalHome as required by statute, regulation, and program guidelines, HCD should immediately collect all required reports and follow up with recipients to obtain missing reports. Staff should withhold fund disbursements from recipients that have not submitted required reports. If the submitted reports reveal a problematic trend, such as a recipient not disbursing funds, HCD should take appropriate corrective action with the recipient.

6

To ensure that it appropriately monitors CalHome as required by statute, regulation, and program guidelines, HCD should immediately stop providing extensions to standard agreements to recipients if those extensions would cause HCD to not spend the full award within the 36-month term and therefore violate its regulations.

7

To ensure that HCD appropriately monitors BEGIN as required by statute, regulations, and program guidelines, HCD should immediately collect and review all required reports, and it should follow up with recipients to obtain any missing reports. If the reports reveal a problematic trend, such as a recipient not disbursing funds, HCD should take appropriate corrective action with the recipient.

8

To ensure that the IIG program award funds benefit the target population, HCD should develop and use a tool by December 1, 2018, to track which awards are monitored by local jurisdictions or by other HCD programs and which are not monitored at all. HCD should then immediately obtain monitoring reports from the local jurisdictions and other HCD programs to verify monitoring and review the results of such monitoring. HCD should follow up on any noted deficiencies. Further, HCD should, by January 1, 2019, develop a plan to perform on-site visits for those recipients that do not receive adequate monitoring from another source, and it should perform the planned on-site monitoring.

9

To ensure that single-family farmworker housing program recipients continue to qualify for housing, HCD should implement policies and procedures by December 1, 2018, to ensure that the information the recipients provide in the self-certification letters is accurate and complete by requiring that they include documentation as proof. HCD should also follow up to ensure that it receives responses to its annual compliance letters from all recipients.

10

To ensure that it maximizes the benefit of the funds it has invested in CAPES's development and to support its ongoing efforts to improve CAPES's usability, HCD should, by January 1, 2019, perform an assessment of those programs that do not fully use CAPES.

11

To ensure that it maximizes the benefit of the funds it has invested in CAPES's development and to support its ongoing efforts to improve CAPES's usability, HCD should, by January 1, 2019, determine to what extent the programs could be using CAPES at its current level of development to capture information.

12

To ensure that it maximizes the benefit of the funds it has invested in CAPES's development and to support its ongoing efforts to improve CAPES's usability, HCD should, by January 1, 2019, formally direct staff working on those programs to enter data into CAPES and then use those data to manage the contracts and staff workloads associated with the programs.

13

To ensure that it maximizes the benefit of the funds it has invested in CAPES's development and to support its ongoing efforts to improve CAPES's usability, HCD should, by January 1, 2019, develop a remediation plan to augment CAPES in the specific ways required by any HCD programs that are currently unable to use the system for their operational needs. Concurrent with the remediation plan, HCD should develop realistic project management plans, including project milestones, for completing the necessary system upgrades.

14

To ensure that it maximizes the benefit of the funds it has invested in CAPES's development and to support its ongoing efforts to improve CAPES's usability, HCD should, by January 1, 2019, develop a documented process to ensure that all data in CAPES are accurate and complete. This process should include all phases of contract management, including monitoring. HCD should implement a routine periodic review of this process and update the process as necessary.

15

In conjunction with the planning efforts outlined above and to ensure that it can most efficiently manage its limited resources related to IT, HCD should develop a cost-benefit analysis by March 1, 2019, that addresses the costs of continuing to maintain and enhance CAPES in the long term versus the acquisition and maintenance costs of an off-the-shelf database product. At a minimum, it should include the following:

- All costs associated with CAPES's enhancement, support, and future maintenance.

- A documented methodology, including all assumptions, and thorough documentation of the sources for the underlying data.

16

To ensure that it is able to meet its administrative monitoring obligations and that it uses housing bond funds in compliance with state law, regulations, and program guidelines, HCD should develop a long-term plan by January 1, 2019, for how it will avoid exceeding the administrative cost limits of those programs in the most immediate danger of overage and for how it will address instances when it has exceeded administrative cost limits. The plan should identify the programs at risk of exceeding the limit; the actions HCD will take for each program to gain efficiencies; its plan for moving staff between programs; a request for more money or legislative changes such as modifying the statutory limit on administrative spending, if necessary; and an evaluation of the consequences of not fulfilling its monitoring obligations.

17

To ensure that it complies with state law, prudently uses administrative funding, and promotes transparency, HCD should obtain a legal opinion on whether it can use CalHome funding to monitor BEGIN awards. If it cannot, it should cease doing so.

18

To ensure that it complies with state law, prudently uses administrative funding, and promotes transparency, HCD should calculate and retain only funds equal to its actual administrative costs in instances when it does not disburse awarded funds to a recipient and subsequently grants the funds to another recipient.

19

To ensure that it does not exceed administrative cost restrictions and that it maximizes the funds intended to address target populations' housing needs, HCD should estimate when it will run out of administrative funds for any specific program, document its projection methodology, and provide underlying data and support for its estimates. The projections should include, but not be limited to, actual staff time spent on the program, the number of awards being monitored, and the length of monitoring. Staff should provide these projections and methodologies to management for review and approval by December 1, 2018, and then at least biannually thereafter.

Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status
1

Given HCD's long-standing history of inadequate monitoring for some of its programs and the additional funds HCD could receive for CalHome under the November 2018 ballot measure, the Legislature should require HCD to disclose information about such monitoring in its annual report, which it should submit to the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development and the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing. The report should identify all of the awards that HCD monitors for the CalHome and BEGIN programs and should include performance metrics such as the amount of funds awarded but not disbursed to recipients and therefore not issued to potential homeowners. The Legislature should also require HCD to disclose in its annual report—at a minimum—the following information for all awards that HCD is responsible for monitoring in the CalHome and BEGIN programs:

- The amount of the original awards to recipients, the portions not yet disbursed to recipients, and an estimate of how many individuals could benefit from the remaining balance.

- Any extensions HCD granted to the standard agreement and the number of and reason for those extensions.

- The total balance of all recipients' CalHome and BEGIN reuse accounts, detailing the loan repayments recipients are required to reissue for program purposes and an estimate of how many households could benefit from the balance.

- A section describing HCD's monitoring efforts, including the collection of performance reports and the results of the risk assessments and on-site monitoring.

2

The Legislature should require the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency to monitor HCD's efforts and to submit a report annually to the Legislature demonstrating that HCD is continuing to implement our recommendations.



Print all recommendations and responses.