AUGUSTA — The Maine State Housing Authority was cleared of accusations of fraud in a report issued today by the state's Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability.
The review of MSHA was initiated by the Legislature after accusations that the agency had been misusing taxpayer funds. Critics included the Maine Heritage Policy Center, which had queried the agency's list of vendors used over the past 13 years.
According to the report, OPEGA judged "substantially all" of the $4.3 million MSHA expenses it reviewed to be "generally consistent with its mission and primary activities."
"Those expenditures we noted as having an indirect or unclear connection to mission and activities . . . were related to certain sponsorships, organizational memberships, and conferences attended by MaineHousing staff," the report says.
The report notes that some expense categories were potentially unnecessary, such as sponsorships and organizational memberships, out of state conferences, food and refreshments for employees, gift cards for employee bonuses, and business meals for MSHA management.