HUD Dud: OMB Chief Moved Up Despite Housing Books Scandal

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Ethan Barton Editor in Chief
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Former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan left his agency’s financial books in shambles before becoming the White House budget director.

HUD’s financial statements and systems were missing key documents, were frequently inaccurate, and even violated federal law, making them impossible to audit in 2014 – Donovan’s final year as secretary – according to an inspector general report made public Monday.

Donovan became Office of Management and Budget director in July 2014, after serving as HUD’s secretary for five years. The OMB is tasked to create the president’s budget and “the largest component of the Executive Office,” according to its website.

HUD’s problems persisted into 2015, meaning the agency’s books couldn’t be audited for two consecutive years. Additionally, some issues with HUD’s accounting arose during Donovan’s tenure, while he simply failed to correct others the IG had reported for years, or even decades.

The IG, for example, has reported since 1991 that HUD – a nearly $50 billion budgeted cabinet-level department – has relied on antiquated financial systems, forcing the agency to use “less reliable manual processes,” according to Monday’s report.

Donovan did not respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.

Sen. [crscore]Ron Johnson[/crscore] – a member of the Senate Committee on the Budget and Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs chairman –previously questioned Donovan’s qualifications to be OMB director.

I just don’t think he is qualified to be OMB director,” Johnson said in 2014 during Donovan’s nomination hearing, the Federal Times reported. “I simply can’t support this nomination.”

More recently, the Wisconsin Republican grilled Donovan over the president’s 2016 budget.

“In your budget deliberations, are you looking at the 30-year problem?” Johnson asked Donovan in a February Senate Budget committee hearing. Johnson was referring to Congressional Budget Office projections of $126 trillion in federal budget deficits over the next three decades.

Donovan responded by contending deficits would only increase $1 trillion over the that time period.

The Senate, which was then controlled by Democrats, confirmed Donovan as OMB Director in a 75-22 vote.

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