GAO Auditor Testifies to Lack of Oversight for LIHTC Program
Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, Daniel Garcia-Diaz, a director of financial markets and community investment with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), referring to the LIHTC program, said, "IRS and no one else in the federal government really has an idea of what's going on. These are basic accountability requirements we would expect of any program, especially one as important as this one."
Garcia Diaz said there is no way for government auditors to determine whether the projects are costing too much, whether developments are completed on time, or if the buildings are in compliance—because the IRS does not collect or maintain that data. He noted that the IRS has audited only seven of the 58 state agencies that administer the program in more than 30 years, and when audits were completed, significant problems were found.
As part of a series of reports on the LIHTC program, the GAO is currently examining LIHTC development costs. It expects a report out early next year of its findings for LIHTC developments placed in service between 2011 and 2015 for 12 housing finance agencies.