Ben Carson Found $500 Billion In Accounting Errors At Housing And Urban Development [Fact Check]lmwsadmin
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) director Ben Carson found more than $500 billion in accounting errors at the federal agency; however, the audit was initiated before Carson assumed his position at HUD, and it reckons an aggregate figure of accounting errors and not an actual recovery of $500 billion in funds. Some sites were misleading the story giving Carson all the credit without proper context. Where did the misleading story originate?
On April 6, 2017, the Daily Wire posted a story reporting that Carson found $520 billion in accounting errors after “ordering” an audit of the agency. You can read the story below.
“Ben Carson was the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins, so, he’s kind of a super hero.
But apparently, he’s also not a bad accountant.
President Trump picked Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, whose budget grew by leaps and bounds under Barack Obama.
In one of his first acts as HUD Secretary, Carson ordered an audit of the agency. What he found was staggering: $520 billion in bookkeeping errors.”
However, reported that the audit was actually initiated by HUD’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), who originally issued an independent auditor’s report on Nov. 15 2016, which was two months before Carson was confirmed as the new HUD secretary.
The OIG is the enforcement arm of HUD and has been [HUD] by Inspector General David Montoya since 2011. Their revised audit report on March 1, 2017 deals with “pervasive material errors” found in HUD’s 2015 and 2016 consolidated financial statements:
“The total amounts of errors corrected in HUD’s notes and consolidated financial statements were $516.4 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively. There were several other unresolved audit matters, which restricted our ability to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to express an opinion. These unresolved audit matters relate to (1) the Office of General Counsel’s refusal to sign the management representation letter, (2) HUD’s improper use of cumulative and first-in, first-out budgetary accounting methods of disbursing community planning and development program funds, (3) the $4.2 billion in nonpooled loan assets from Ginnie Mae’s stand-alone financial statements that we could not audit due to inadequate support, (4) the improper accounting for certain HUD assets and liabilities, and (5) material differences between HUD’s subledger and general ledger accounts. This audit report contains 11 material weaknesses, 7 significant deficiencies, and 5 instances of noncompliance with applicable laws and regulations.”
Here are some examples of people discussing Carson and the audit on social media.
Ben Carson Finds $500 Billion Dollar Error from Obama’s Housing Agency
— Melanie (@mefbama)
Obama skated out Polynesian islands to avoid extradition.. Ben Carson found a 500B dollar “error” in the books. They been cooking the books [HUD]
— Concerned citizen (@yolandazavala7)
This is in addition to the Obama administration’s $520 Billion fraud at HUD that Ben Carson has discovered‼
— Hillary for Prison (@HRC4Prison)
Unbelievable! Drain the swamp Dr Carson!
— John F. Garrett (@alcors11) [HUD]
$500 billion is not an error!! Hope Rex Tillerson can find the $6billion Hillary lost.
— Ex-Dem🇺🇸Latina (@terrymendozer)
Dr. Ben Carson IN SHOCK: HUD AUDIT Uncovers BILLIONS Of DOLLARS in ‘error’.
Another example of Obama era corruption?
— TruthTeller (@TruthSeekTeller) [HUD]
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According to the OIG report, HUD states that the errors represented a net adjustment of only $3 million and resulted in “no changes in HUD’s financial position or impact to [HUD] programs.”
“HUD states that the “presentation of the financial information was inaccurate” and describes the errors in its financial statements and notes as “inconsistencies.” Since the financial information reported was not correct, these statements are misleading because they imply that the information reported was correct but was merely presented inconsistently. Further, HUD states, “Overall, the combined adjustments to the consolidated financial statements resulted in a net adjustment of $3 million, but no changes in HUD’s financial position or impact to our programs.” HUD management is downplaying the severity of the condition and impact of the errors identified, which were significant enough to cause it to recall its published AFR and reissue its fiscal year 2016 consolidated financial statements and notes. While the errors identified may not have changed HUD’s financial position, as HUD states at the bottom of its financial statements, “The accompanying notes are an integral part of these statements.” These notes contained errors of $516.4 billion.”
What did you think of the story about the error? Do you think Carson should receive credit for the discovery? Let us know in the comments section.
Photo credit: [HUD], Flickr