STATE – A state audit of a weatherization assistance program administered by the Department of Community Affairs revealed that just a fraction of federal grant money had been spent and that cost controls were not being implemented.
Just $6 million of the $64 million awarded to the program was actually spent during the audit period, April 1, 2009 through July 30, 2010. The federal government allocated $119 million to New Jersey for the Weatherization Assistance Program as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, but the rest of the money is dependent on the demonstration of progress.
Under the program, the Department of Community Affairs provides grants to community agencies to administer at the local level. These local agencies are responsible for determining applicant eligibility, weatherizing home and conducting home assessments. Typical weatherization services include installing insulation, sealing ducts and mitigating heat loss through windows and doors.
The audit determined that the local agencies had completed less than 13 percent of their 8,288 home workload. It also found that agencies had received funds for unreasonable expenses, such as vehicles that had already been purchased and auditing services that had not been performed.
“There are consequences to the failure of this program to do its job. It means more people in New Jersey will be suffering through a cold winter, higher unemployment, more expensive energy bills and more pollution,” New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said.
Read the full audit at: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/Auditor/95160.pdf