It’s about time!
Congress appears at long last to be preparing to investigate President Barack Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development.
According to The Daily Caller, Congress plans to closely audit HUD’s financial statements in response to the department’s inspector general revealing via its own audit that the department’s financial records were inaccurate and potentially corrupt.
“This audit report contains nine material weaknesses, eight significant deficiencies in internal controls and six instances of noncompliance with applicable laws and regulations,” the IG’s audit stated.
HUD currently receives $49 billion in annual funding, but given the allegations lodged against it, that funding could soon be cut.
“While Congress should force the agency to mop up this new accounting mess in the short term, in the medium term, Congress should devolve and privatize activities such as housing finance,” Cato Institute tax policies director Chris Edwards argued.
“Given HUD’s history of waste and outright corruption, this is an agency that Congress and taxpayers need to keep a particularly close eye on, and it is one reason why the new revelations of the agency’s mismanagement are so troubling,” he added.
For now, though, Congress plans to simply conduct its own audit of sorts and keep a closer eye on the department’s financial transactions, while encouraging it to make meaningful changes to its financial systems.
“The committee understands that improvements and changes to existing practices take time to implement successfully and has received briefings from HUD on the status of this work,” Sen. Richard Shelby, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, explained. “These are multi-year issues involving HUD and the committee will continue its oversight responsibilities.”