HUD hailed, but still has high risk

The Department of Housing and Urban Development was praised for making progress, but still finds itself on the General Accounting Office's high-risk list.

In its Performance and Accountability Series report released Jan. 17, GAO said HUD had succeeded in several information technology-related areas. These include a large-scale computer matching initiative in which HUD identified $3.1 billion it is owed from homeowners. Also, HUD has begun to develop an IT investment management process to improve how it selects, controls and evaluates IT projects.

GAO also said it no longer considered HUD's Community Planning and Development programs high risk.

However, weaknesses with internal controls, information and financial management systems and other areas persist in HUD's single-family mortgage insurance and rental housing assistance programs. As a result, these two programs remain on the GAO's high-risk list.

In addition, HUD needs to continue to address management challenges in two other areas: information and financial management systems and human capital, according to the report.

Although HUD is building an integrated financial management system to replace separate systems, GAO said it is too soon to tell how the effort will turn out.

HUD also needs to continue to develop a process to identify and justify its staffing requirements, GAO reported.

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