Bureau of Audit
Audit Report on the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Performance Indicators as Reported in the Mayor’s Management Report
May 4, 2012
AUDIT REPORT IN BRIEF
Download the Complete Report (pdf 367KB)
Our audit objective was to determine whether the Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD) controls are adequate to ensure that its performance indicators as reported in the Mayor's Management Report (MMR) are accurate and reliable. This audit concentrated on the following four critical indicators: 1) Total completions financed or assisted under the New Housing Marketplace Plan; 2) Total emergency complaints; 3) Average time to close emergency complaints; and 4) Percent of non-lead emergency C violations issued in reporting year pending at end of reporting year.
The MMR serves as a public report card on City services affecting the lives of New Yorkers and mainly covers the operations of City agencies reporting directly to the Mayor. HPD's mission is to improve the availability, affordability, and quality of housing in the City. To accomplish its mission, it uses a variety of preservation, development, and enforcement strategies, including working with private, public, and community partners to strengthen neighborhoods. As reported in the MMR, the HPD's Key Public Service Areas include encouraging the preservation and increasing the supply of affordable housing and ensuring the quality of the City's housing stock through enforcement of housing maintenance code standards.
Audit Findings and Conclusions
Overall, we found that HPD's controls are adequate to ensure that its performance indicators, as reported in the MMR regarding three of the four critical indicators we reviewed on completions and complaints, are sufficiently accurate and reliable. However, we have only limited assurance that the violation indicator regarding non-lead emergency C violations published in the MMR is accurate and reliable because of control weaknesses that result from HPD's use of Microsoft Access to perform calculations for the non-lead emergency C violation data gathered. In addition, the data extracted from the Housing Preservation and Development Information System (HPDInfo) for this indicator and the resulting calculations are not maintained by HPD.
We also found some minor weaknesses which should be addressed because they may compromise the accuracy and reliability of the performance indicators in future years. These weaknesses seem to stem from the fact that HPD does not have adequate written policies or procedures for its Office of Development and Performance Analysis personnel regarding the collecting, compiling, maintaining, and reporting of the performance indicator data to the Mayor's Office Performance Management Application Tool (PMA). Further, while we found that the definition associated with each indicator was readily understandable to any reasonably informed interested party, HPD did not adequately disclose all necessary information for the housing completion data for Fiscal Year 2011.
Based on our findings, we make six recommendations. HPD should:
- Ensure that HPDInfo is updated so that that the calculations for the performance indicator ‘Percent of non-lead emergency C violations issued in reporting year pending at end of reporting year’ can be performed and maintained within HPDInfo.
- Prepare and disseminate to the appropriate staff adequate formal written policies and procedures.
- Ensure that accurate data (such as actual completion dates) is entered into PCS in a timely manner in accordance with HPD's guidelines.
- Require Enforcement to provide Performance Analysis with the actual report generated from HPDInfo instead of a manually transcribed report.
- Disclose in the MMR the number of housing completions reported as current year that were actually completed in the prior fiscal year that resulted from HPD's timing policy.
- Disclose in the MMR that there was a counting rule change in Fiscal Year 2011 that included additional housing completions that had previously not been included and adjust the prior fiscal years' numbers to make them comparable.
In their response, HPD officials agreed to implement all six of the audit's recommendations.