The folks at the Tennessee Housing Development Agency take a lot of taxpayer money from the Feds for a weatherization program.
A new audit says that money gets wasted on projects that don’t even meet government standards.
And that means government contractors must do the work all over again — at taxpayer expense.
THDA officials take federal taxpayer money to conserve energy costs in low-income households through what’s called a Weatherization Assistance Program.
The U.S. Department of Energy funds the weatherization program and gives it to THDA officials to spend around Tennessee.
“THDA has implemented monitoring procedures for the Weatherization Assistance Program, yet completed projects often fail to meet technical standards,” Tennessee Comptrollers wrote in their audit.
Auditors said 17 percent of the projects they reviewed had major errors and that 33 percent had health and safety concerns.
“But the large majority (81 percent) required some degree of rework of adjustments to meet inspection standards.”
Comptrollers reported finding substandard air ducts, insulation not secured properly, and ventilation fans not meeting air circulation specs, among other things.
“If rework is required, the contractor must complete the identified corrective action(s) before the work can be considered complete,” the audit went on to say.
“The quality control inspector then reinspects the job and notifies THDA by submitting an invoice for reimbursement.”
This is not the first time auditors have called this program out for waste.
As reported last year, one contractor hired to do this type of work in Fayetteville may have accepted $134,000 he didn’t earn.
In 2010 Tennessee Comptrollers found waste in this program after state officials accepted $99 million in federal stimulus money to serve 6,800 homes.
In those instances, contractors either didn’t follow through on certain procedures or performed work that wasn’t allowed, including work on stairs and ramps, even though that provided no weatherization benefits.
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