Thanks to the inspector general for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (now headed by Ben Carson), we learned that Obama’s HUD staff cooked the books for three straight years in the department.
In total, there was $520 billion in bookkeeping errors (this doesn’t mean that $520 billion went missing) in 2015 and 2016. Officials at HUD had to fix $3.4 billion worth of errors in 2015, and $516.4 billion in 2016. Despite those fixes, the inspector general in December was unable to issue an opinion on the Department’s financial statements, and pointed to 11 errors in them, seven of which were significant deficiencies and five of which were instances of failure of comply with laws and regulation.
Among those issues, according to the Daily Caller, “were due to an inability to establish a compliant control environment, implement adequate financial accounting systems, retain key financial staff, and identify appropriate accounting principles and policies,” the IG said.
The unresolved issues — the same ones the IG highlighted in its December report — include HUD lawyers’ refusals to sign a management letter listing all HUD litigation, HUD’s improper accounting methods, failure to correctly measure assets and liabilities, discrepancies between general ledger and sub-ledger accounts, and $4.2 billion in loan assets from Ginnie Mae’s financial statements that lack sufficient support for an audit.
Brian Sullivan, HUD’s spokesman, told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group in December 2016 that, “HUD does apply generally accepted accounting standards,” when the IG said the department does not.
The IG, in addition to fixing old recommendations, told HUD to reassess its financial statement review process to catch errors and make sure its financial notes comply with generally accepted accounting principles.
So, a government agency is incapable of complying with government rules. Shocker. Anyone complaining that Ben Carson was unqualified to head HUD should’ve been outraged the past few years if they truly were concerned about competence.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]