HARRISBURG (AP) — The department of economic and community development should improve how it manages a program that helps needy Pennsylvanians weatherize their homes, the auditor general said Wednesday. A performance audit of the federally funded Weatherization Assistance Program found examples of homes improperly getting aid more than once, failure to consistently have final inspections performed and long waiting lists for services in some counties. Fayette County’s 1,100-applicant waiting list, the state’s longest, would take more than nine years to clear up, Auditor General Jack Wagner said. “We may have global warming before we can serve all the people in Fayette County — that’s how long the list is,” Wagner said. The weatherization program offers such services as repair or replacement of heating systems, installation of insulation and ventilation, construction of new windows and adoption of other energy conservation measures. Wagner’s audit found shortcomings in how the program was advertised to the public and said the state inadequately monitored local agencies. It cited weaknesses that could lead to abuse and examples of waste. It suggested the department require local agencies to document how they handle crisis situations and impose more rigorous checks of recipients’ reported incomes. The audit suggested the state make subcontractors provide invoices to document charges for labor and materials, and improve monitoring of local agencies’ compliance with program requirements. The department of community and economic development said it planned to require more stringent documentation of spending and would produce a handbook to guide the people who monitor the weatherization program.

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