Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Yellow Journalism Is Alive & Well

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 9, 2017

Recently, numerous off-kilter, slanted “yellow journalism” Internet-based outlets parading under guise as “conservative,” “right-wing,” or GOP-sympathizers (TRANSLATE: Fake News generating trolls) have trumpeted a regularly mandated HUD OIG report which they deceitfully and improperly credit to some specially unique directive or missive issued, given, or ordered by new HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, MD.

Problem Number 1, is that Carson didn’t do any such thing. HUD OIG reports are – as stated above – regularly mandated.

In their false, purposely misleading, and deliberately deceptive reports, they boldly claim that in the brief time he’s been Secretary (<90 days), that Carson ordered an audit, which audit was completed, and which audit “found” money that was due to “bookkeeping errors.”

Problem Number 2, is that audits are not performed in <90 days. And in some cases, audits of multi-billion-dollar agencies, companies, or organizations are not performed within 6 months, because they cannot be performed wholly, fully, completely, reliably, or accurately in such a short time frame.

The only part of those salacious and deliberately fraudulent claims made by such pernicious “Trolls” and malignant “Fake News” writers that is even remotely close to truth, is that there was a report made by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) upon the accounting given by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The rest of their specious assertions are total lies and yes, utter bullshit.

Problem Number 3, the liars and prevaricators who churn out such garbage take you, and other readers, to be fools, because they prey upon your, and others’ ignorance. And just like the snake oil salesmen, miracle-cure peddlers, sideshow hucksters & barkers that they are, they only want to make a fast buck on “click-through” Internet visits, and so, they write stories that are accurately called “click bait.” That’s because they’re fishing for you!

Let’s face it – there is not any one person who knows everything about anything, or everything. So in essence, we’re all ignorant about something. That’s exactly why it’s important to rely upon TIME-HONORED TRUSTED SOURCES who back up their reports with direct quotes, and links to original sources. And ~THAT!~, my dear reader, is precisely why I supply links to validate, and verify about what I write… so that YOU may check my work. And I fully encourage you to do so!

Moving along…

Overall, this report is ~not~ something of which to be ashamed, per se, inasmuch as it demonstrates a properly-working system of internal review and oversight in compliance with policy and law. While the findings are not perfect, the OIG report does identify & state areas of weakness where improvements ought be made to conform with accepted practices and regulations. It does ~not~ identify fraud.

The HUD OIG report may be found here:

{*!*WARNING*!* It is very dry reading.}

https://www.hudoig.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2017-FO-0005.pdf

In the HUD OIG report, it states that:

1.) Made ~before~ Carson was Sec’y

2.) Errors were ~not~ fraudulent which found misplaced $

3.) Is regularly mandatory per Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, Federal Law

4.) 2016 Agency Financial Report (AFR) issued 11/2016 corrected

5.) 2015/16 AFRs updated & corrected per OIG report

6.) Acting CFO withdrew AFR 12/2016, notified IG of request to OMB for add’l time for AFR from 11/16 to 3/17

7.) All AFRs are made w Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

8.) Mg’t responsible for compliance w applicable laws & regulations

9.) Mg’t responsible for “Establishing, maintaining, and evaluating internal controls and systems to provide 
reasonable assurance that the broad objectives of the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996 (FFMIA) are met”

10.) OIG: “We were engaged to audit those financial statements in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards accepted in the United States of America and OMB Bulletin 15-02.”

11.) Mg’t responsible for “…fair presentation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.”

12.) OIG: “We are required by the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, as amended by the Government Management Reform Act of 1994 and implemented by OMB Bulletin 15-02, Audit Requirements for Federal Financial Statements, to audit HUD’s principal financial statements or select an independent auditor to do so.”

13.) Acting General Counsel is aware of limitations of Report & could not sign off on it b/c “we lacked assurance that all known actual or possible litigation, claims, and assessments had been properly accounted for or disclosed.”

14.) OIG: “Other matters that we identified related to (1) improper budgetary accounting, (2) a disclaimer of opinion on Ginnie Mae’s financial statements, (3) unvalidated grant accrual estimates, (4) improper and unreliable accounting for assets and liabilities, and (5) significant unreconciled subledger to general ledger differences.”

15.) “HUD’s accounting for its property, plant, and equipment did not comply with Federal GAAP.”

16.) “HUD did not properly account for several types of assets and liabilities reported on its balance sheet, causing misstatements or unreliable balances.”

17.) OIG Audit Opinion originally issued 11/15/16

18.) “In early December 2016, we brought these errors to the attention of HUD management, and HUD determined that reissuance was necessary.”

19.) “Through its correction process, HUD identified additional note errors and found an error in its presentation of FHA’s fiscal year 2015 restatement.”

20.) OIG: “…we applied certain limited procedures in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America, which consisted principally of inquiries of management regarding the methods of preparing the information and comparing the information for consistency with management’s responses to the auditor’s inquiries, the basic financial statements, and other knowledge the auditor obtained during the audit of the basic financial statements.”

21.) “In connection with our audit, we performed tests of HUD’s compliance with certain provisions of laws and regulations. The results of our tests disclosed five instances of noncompliance that are required to be reported in accordance with Government Auditing Standards, issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, or OMB Bulletin No. 15-02, Audit Requirements for Federal Financial Statements. However, the objective of our audit was not to provide an opinion on compliance with laws and regulations. Accordingly, we do not express such an opinion.”

22.) “…we performed limited testing procedures as required by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Clarified Statements on Auditing Standards, AU-C 730, Required Supplementary Information.”

23.) “We noted that HUD is generally in agreement with our report.”

24.) “HUD appears to agree with the basis of our report because it agrees that “there needed to be greater internal controls and stronger oversight.””

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