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RULE §20.14Compliance and Monitoring

(a) The Department will perform monitoring of single family Program Contracts and Activities in order to ensure that applicable requirements of federal laws and regulations, and state laws and rules have been met, and to provide Administrators with clear communication regarding the condition and operation of these Contracts and Activities so they understand clearly, with a documented record, how they are performing in meeting obligations.

  (1) The physical condition of assisted properties and Administrator's documented compliance with contractual and Program requirements may be subject to monitoring.

  (2) The Department may contract with an independent third party to monitor an Activity for compliance with any conditions imposed by the Department in connection with the award of any Department funds, and appropriate state and federal laws.

(b) If an Administrator has Contracts for more than one single family Program, or other programs through the Department or the State, the Department may, at its discretion, coordinate monitoring of those programs with monitoring of single family Contracts under this chapter.

(c) In general, Administrators will be scheduled for monitoring based on federal or state monitoring requirements, or a risk assessment process including but not limited to: the number of Contracts administered by the Administrator, the amount of funds awarded and expended, the length of time since the last monitoring, Findings identified during previous monitoring, issues identified through the submission or lack of submission of a Single Audit, complaints, and reports of fraud, waste and/or abuse. The risk assessment will also be used to determine which Administrators will have an onsite review, and which may have a desk review.

(d) The Department will provide an Administrator with written notice of any upcoming onsite or desk monitoring review, and such notice will be given to the Administrator by email to the Administrator's chief executive officer at the email address most recently provided to the Department by the Administrator. In general, a 30 calendar day notice will be provided. However, if a credible complaint of fraud is received, the Department reserves the right to conduct unannounced monitoring visits, or provide a shorter notice period. If the Department receives a complaint under §1.2 of this title (relating to Department Complaint System to the Department), it will follow the procedures outlined therein instead of this section. It is the responsibility of the Administrator to maintain current contact information with the Department for the organization, key staff members, and governing body in accordance with §1.22 of this title (relating to Providing Contact Information to the Department).

(e) Upon request, an Administrator must make available to the Department all books and records that the Department determines are reasonably relevant to the scope of the Department's review, along with access to assisted properties.

(f) Post Monitoring Procedures. After the review, a written monitoring report will be prepared for the Administrator describing the monitoring assessment and any corrective actions, if applicable. The monitoring report will be emailed to the Administrator. Issues of concern over which there is uncertainty or ambiguity may be discussed by the Department with the staff of cognizant agencies overseeing federal funding.

(g) Administrator Response. If there are any Findings and/or Concerns of noncompliance requiring corrective action, the Administrator will be provided a 30 day corrective action period, which may be extended for good cause. In order to receive an extension, the Administrator must submit a written request to the Compliance Division within the corrective action period, stating the basis for good cause that the Administrator believes justifies the extension. In general, the Department will approve or deny the extension request within three business days. Failure to timely respond to a corrective action notice and/or failure to correct all Findings will be taken into consideration if the Administrator applies for additional funding and may result in suspension of the Contract, referral to the Enforcement Committee, or other action under this title.

(h) Monitoring Close Out. After completion of the monitoring review, a close out letter will be issued to the Administrator. If the Administrator supplies evidence establishing continual compliance that negates the Finding of noncompliance, the issue of noncompliance will be rescinded. If the Administrator's response satisfies all Findings and Concerns noted in the monitoring letter, the issue of noncompliance will be noted as resolved. In some circumstances, the Administrator may be unable to secure documentation to resolve a Finding. In those instances, if there are mitigating circumstances, the Department may note the Finding is not resolved but may close the issue with no further action required. If the Administrator's response does not correct all Findings noted, the close out letter will identify the documentation that must be submitted to correct the issue. Results of monitoring Findings may be reported to the EARAC for consideration relating to Previous Participation.

(i) Options for Review. If, following the submission of corrective action documentation, Compliance staff continues to find the Administrator in noncompliance, and the Administrator disagrees, the Administrator may request or initiate review of the matter using the following options, where applicable:

  (1) If the issue is related to a federal program requirement or prohibition, Administrators may contact an applicable federal program officer for guidance, or request that the Department contact applicable federal program officer for guidance without identifying the Administrator.

  (2) If the issue is related to a provision of the Contract or a requirement of the TAC, or a provision of UGMS or TxGMS (as applicable), the Administrator may submit an appeal to the Executive Director consistent with §1.7 of this title (relating to Appeals Process).

  (3) An Administrator may request Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). An Administrator must send a proposal to the Department's Dispute Resolution Coordinator to initiate ADR pursuant to §1.17 of this title (relating to Alternative Dispute Resolution).

(j) If an Administrator does not respond to a monitoring letter or fails to provide acceptable evidence of timely compliance after notification of an issue, the matter will be reported to the Department's Enforcement Committee for consideration of administrative penalties, full or partial cost reimbursement, or suspension.

(k) An Administrator must provide timely response to corrective action requirements imposed by other agencies. Administrator records may be reviewed during the course of monitoring or audit of the Department by HUD, the Office of the Inspector General, the State Auditor's Office, or others. If a Finding or Concern is identified during the course of a monitoring or audit by another agency, the Administrator is required to provide timely action and response within the conditions imposed by that agency's notice.

Source Note: The provisions of this §20.14 adopted to be effective January 2, 2022, 46 TexReg 9002

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