November 7, 2012
Vol: 19 No: 45

News

Audit questions city’s use of federal stimulus funds

By RC Staff

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The City of Seattle’s Human Services and Economic Development departments received millions from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2011, but failed to properly document how subcontracting organizations used the money, according to a new report.

The Washington State Auditor found six separate problems involving how the Office of Economic Development, Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities tracked usage of federal grant dollars and kept internal records, according to a report released Oct. 31.

In two cases, the Human Services Department failed to show that the stimulus funds were used as they were intended.

The auditor found that the Human Services Department distributed, through HUD, $9.6 million for transitional housing to 22 organizations. Four of the recipients failed to show where they spent the money. Because of this, HUD could require the city to return as much as $3.3 million.

The Human Services Department also provided $6.2 million in community development block grants to local housing organizations.

Some of the funding was stimulus money. The auditor found that the city lacked documentation for $266,498 of that funding, so the city could be required to return it.

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