The U.S. Energy Office has warned the D.C. government that it will lose $454,512 in federal funds allocated to weatherize the homes of low-income residents if improvements in the program's operation are not made in the next 30 days.
The D.C. Neighborhood Improvement Administration runs the program and has a total of $1.1 million, including $518,000 in unspent funds from last year, to weatherize homes, according to federal officials.
William Kaplan, director of the U.S. Department of Energy's support office in Philadelphia, said a review of the D.C. program revealed that it is plagued by poor record-keeping, failure to adhere to federal rules, inadequate control over contractors and poor quality work.
District officials could not be reached for comment.
Edward Boyle, an energy department manager for the weatherization program, said of the District: "They were producing so poorly that we told them to stop and do it right."
Grants under the weatherization program are typically made in two installments, the second to be paid based on a jurisdiction's production performance under the first. For the last several years, the District has had trouble collecting the second installment.
In 1985, the federal government revoked $494,000 allocated for the District, and in 1986 temporarily withheld $212,000 until the District corrected production problems.
Although the city had $1 million to spend in 1986, it spent only $549,000 to weatherize 218 units, half the number that should have been done with the funds available, Boyle said.