Ben Carson Audit Reveals $500 Billion in HUD Bookkeeping Errors-Truth! & Fiction! 

Summary of eRumor:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson audited HUD and found a half trillion in bookkeeping errors under the Obama administration.

The Truth:

A Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) report outlined more than a half trillion dollars in bookkeeping errors that needed to be corrected — but the audit was put into motion months before Ben Carson was appointed or confirmed as HUD secretary.

And it’s important to note HUD wasn’t “missing” half of a trillion dollars — rather those funds were misidentified or misreported within HUD’s reporting process and internal controls, and HUD later filed updated reports to correct the record.

An OIG report issued on November 15, 2016, cited inefficient and inaccurate reporting processes and internal controls within the agency that made it impossible for the independent investigator to conclude the audit without HUD first correcting errors. That process was launched in December 2016 (still before Ben Carson was confirmed as HUD secretary). It resulted in a report being issued on March 1, 2017, in which HUD reported uncovering more than $500 billion in misidentified funds:

Through its correction process, HUD identified additional note errors and found an error in its presentation of FHA’s fiscal year 2015 restatement. FHA’s restatement included a $1.4 billion adjustment to its cumulative results of operations beginning balance on the statement of changes in net position. HUD made this adjustment to its consolidated statement of changes in net position but presented the change in the beginning balance, not as a correction of error,10 as reported correctly by FHA. In total, the absolute values of corrections to HUD’s notes and principle financial statements were approximately $516.4 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively.

Ben Carson was confirmed as HUD secretary by the Senate on March 2, 2017, the day after the report documenting more than a half trillion in corrections to HUD notes and principle financial statements. Still, right-wing websites like the Powdered Wig Society published a story under the headline, “Ben Carson has uncovered half a trillion dollars in bookkeeping errors in Obama’s HUD.”

In reality, a half trillion dollars in bookkeeping the errors were discovered — but they were discovered before Ben Carson was confirmed as HUD secretary. That’s why we’re calling this one “truth” and “fiction.”

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 04/07/2017