Tonawanda Housing Authority – Housing Occupancy and Information Technology (2016M-381)

Issued Date
May 25, 2017

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the Authority’s housing occupancy process and examine IT controls over the Authority’s electronic data and computer resources for the period April 1, 2013 through July 25, 2016.


The Tonawanda Housing Authority is located in the City of Tonawanda in Erie County and provides low-rent housing for qualified individuals. The Authority, which manages one 257-unit apartment complex, is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors. Operating expenditures for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $1.1 million.

Key Findings

  • The Executive Secretary provided inaccurate and unsubstantiated information to the Board.
  • The Board has not ensured the maximum occupancy of tenant housing units to qualified applicants.
  • The Authority’s IT system recently experienced at least two malware infections.
  • The Authority’s electronic data processing policy fails to address several key IT areas, including acceptable computer and Internet use.

Key Recommendations

  • Provide appropriate information, in a complete and accurate manner, to the Board.
  • Develop, adopt and implement written policies and procedures that address key components of the Authority’s housing occupancy operations.
  • Ensure that all Authority computers are frequently scanned for viruses and other malware with up-to-date antivirus software, and ensure that any detected malware is immediately and thoroughly removed.
  • Adopt and enforce a computer and Internet use policy that defines appropriate and prohibited activities when using Authority computers and other IT assets.