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RFP: Forensic Audit Services

Beaufort Housing Authority Request for Proposals for Forensic Financial Audit Services

RFP: FY2024-01
January 25, 2024

Proposals Due by February 15, 2024 at 3:00 pm.

Request For Proposals
Professional Forensic Audit Services

The Beaufort Housing Authority (the "Authority") seeks proposals from qualified Certified Public Accounting firms to perform a forensic audit of financial data and program administration of the Authority for fiscal/program years 2020 through 2023. This audit is to be performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, the standards set forth for financial and compliance audits in the U.S. General Accounting Office's (GAO) Standards for Audit of Governmental Organizations, Programs, Activities, and Functions, the provisions of the Single Audit Act of 1984, as amended in 1996, U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A 133 and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Pronouncements.

The Authority reserves the right, during the evaluation process, when and where it may serve its best interests, to request additional information or clarifications from proposers or to allow corrections of errors or omissions at the sole discretion of the Authority. The Authority reserves the right to request oral presentations by the responding firms as part of the evaluation process.

All matters and issues related to this RFP and any contract resulting from this RFP shall be governed by the regulations included in 24 C.F.R. 85.36, the procurement principles set forth in the HUD Handbook on Procurement for Public Housing Agencies 7460.8, applicable Federal, State, and local laws, and the Authority's Procurement Policy.

Copies of the RFP may be obtained from the Authority's website located at or from:

Sierra Beale, Interim Executive Director
Beaufort Housing Authority
1009 Prince Street
Beaufort, SC 29902

Instructions to Proposers

Section 1 - General Information and Description of the Authority

  1. Background: The Beaufort Housing Authority serves Beaufort County, South Carolina which includes the following municipalities: City of Beaufort, Town of Port Royal, Town of Bluffton, Town of Okafie, and Town of Hilton Head. The Authority is a public body that is Quasi-Governmental and was created in 1968 in accordance with state law. The Authority administers public and affordable housing programs to serve eligible individuals and families within Beaufort County. The Authority is governed by a 7-member Board of Commissioners ("Board"). The Commissioners are appointed by the Beaufort City Council and the Mayor and exercise all powers granted to the Authority pursuant to government statutes.

    The Authority is a separate agency from the City of Beaufort. The Authority's principal office is located at 1009 Prince Street, Beaufort, South Carolina 29902. The Authority's fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.

    As a recipient and sub-recipient of funding awarded by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Authority owns and operates 293 public housing dwelling units as follows: Sandalwood Terrace (80 units), Marsh Pointe (38 units), Oakhill Terrace (50 units), Yemassee Heights (50 units), and 43 scattered sites and some vacant land in Beaufort County. Additionally, the Authority administers Public Housing, NSP, and Secfion-8 Vouchers under the Housing Choice Voucher Programs.

    The Lowcountry Housing & Redevelopment Corporation ("LHRC") is an affiliated entity of the Authority.

  2. Period to be Audited:
    1. October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020 - Fiscal Year 2020
    2. October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021 - Fiscal Year 2021
    3. October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 - Fiscal Year 2022
    4. October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023 - Fiscal Year 2023

  3. Names of Contact Persons and Key Personnel: The auditor's principal contact with the Authority during the course of the engagement will be Sierra Beale, Interim Executive Director, who will coordinate the assistance to be provided by the Authority to the auditor.

Section 2 - Scope of Independent Forensic Audit Services

  1. Accounting Policies and Procedures:
    1. Obtain and review the accounting policies and procedures and confirm compliance with policies regarding:
      1. New vendor approval and set up
      2. Invoice approval authority
      3. Check signing and wire disbursement authority
  2. Bank reconciliations:
    1. Obtain and analyze bank statements and reconciliation reports for random months during the evaluation period and as requested by the Authority.
  3. Disbursement Analysis - Obtain vendor master reports and disbursement registers and create and analyze the following:
    1. Payment stratification: analyze payments by amount to determine magnitude and stratification of payment amounts.
    2. Summary of disbursements by payee: determine number of payments and gross amounts paid to individual payees.
    3. Summary of disbursements payable to cash: determine the number of transactions and amounts payable to cash.
    4. Check number gap analysis: analyze check number sequence to determine missing or out of sequence check numbers.
  4. Existing audit workpapers:
    1. conduct review of the following:
      1. Security deposits
      2. Unearned revenue
      3. Restricted funds
      4. Long-term debt
  5. Tenant financial reports:
    1. Obtain and analyze the following:
      1. Rent rolls and the deposit of rents into appropriate accounts
      2. Security deposits
      3. Prepaid rents
  6. Authority financial transactions:
    1. Review Authority financial transactions, including but not limited to deposits, payments, financial statements, balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements using auditing, quantitative methods, and related skills to assess:
      1. Authority compliance with laws and regulations that may have a material effect upon the financial statements;
      2. Authority compliance with its Procurement Policy with respect to purchases and financial transactions made by or authorized by Authority employees or vendors.
      3. Financial compliance in the financial records of the Lowcountry Housing & Redevelopment Corporation (LHRC) on financial transactions-including, but not limited to rent rolls and deposits of rents into appropriate accounts, deposits, payments, financials statements, balance sheets, income statements, and cashflow statements.
      4. Whether fraud, theft or illegal financial activities occurred.
  7. Authority's Internal Control Environment:
    1. Verify the validity and accuracy of the Authority's internal control environment by testing areas of its financial fund budgets and statements during the referenced fiscal years.
    2. Verify the validity and accuracy of the Authority's internal control environment by assessing the Authority's management of the Public Housing (PH)/Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Programs, including a review of internal processes and procedures related to identified areas of concern, data gathering and reporting, and training of staff.

Section 3 - Agreed Upon Procedures

  1. Study the Authority's organizational structure and examine reporting responsibilities within the Authority to create an internal quality control system of checks and balances, to identify illegal acts or unethical behavior at all levels of the organization.
  2. Examine the reporting system of finance management activities to upper management, including the Board of Commissioners. This assessment of the finance management structure shall include all personnel, contractors, and employees whose responsibility is program administration and reporting.
  3. Determine staff and Board compliance with current policies, regulations, procedures, and laws relative to finance management. Identify any individuals determined to have violated rules, regulations, or Authority policy.
  4. Provide a report of findings which:
    1. Summarizes the results of the forensic auditing services
    2. Recommends organizational, structural, staffing, and procedural improvements
    3. Identifies areas of financial management recommended for additional analysis and investigation

Section 4 - Eligibility Requirements 
To be eligible for consideration, the following minimum requirements must be met:

  1. The firm of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) must be of recognized ability and good standing and licensed in the State of South Carolina.
  2. The firm must be a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and must adhere to the AICPA professional standards of audit practices and conduct.
  3. The firm and its staff proposed for the financial investigation must have experience in auditing governmental entities and/or public housing authorities.
  4. The firm must have experience in similar forensic investigation engagements and preferably possess Certified Financial Forensics (CFF) credentials.

Section 5 - Compliance with Laws, Standards, and Practices
Proposals must comply with all federal, state, county, and municipal laws.

Section 6 - Pricing, Billing, and Invoicing
Proposals must provide a fee schedule for the services described in the RFP, including the pricing for any proposed additional auditing services that the vendor may suggest as part of the forensic audit.
Proposals must provide a payment schedule for services rendered, including periodic billing intervals. Each invoice should specify a cost breakdown among major programs and audit activities. A final invoice shall be due and payable upon the submission of the final investigation reports.

Section 7 - Schedule
Proposal Due Date: February 15, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.
Opening, Evaluation, and Ranking Period: February 15 - February 21, 2024
Approval and Selection of Forensic Auditor: On or before February 29, 2024

Section 8 - Proposal Format and Instructions

  1. Proposal Format: A complete and thorough response is required, as this RFP and response will be incorporated into the final contract by reference. The proposal should be structured as outlined below:
    1. Cover letter from the principal contact responsible for response and proposal content, including the name, title, email address, and contact telephone number of the principal contact.
    2. Please respond to the following RFP sections for required responses:
      1. Scope of Independent Forensic Investigation Services - The selected auditing firm must meet each individual requirement in Section 2 and Section 3. Please summarize your approach to the scope of work for the project. For each of the four (4) areas identified for review and analysis in the Agreed Upon Procedures portion of the Scope of Work section of this RFP, specifically describe how you intend to address and complete these objectives effectively, efficiently, and timely.
      2. Proposer Qualifications - The selected Auditing firm must provide Certified Public Accountants (CPA) who also possess Certified Financial Forensics (CFF)
        credentials, with specific experience in auditing governmental entities and/or public housing authorities.
      3. State if the firm is local, regional, or national.
      4. State the location of the office from which the work is to be completed and the number of partners, managers, supervisors, seniors, and other professional staff at that office.
      5. Proposing firms should indicate the names and titles of all staff who will be assigned to the Authority's investigation, along with a resume for each participating staff member. One person should be identified as the primary contact with the Authority for the overall supervision of the audit. Please separately and specifically identify the key and primary contact staff members to be assigned to each portion of the project, identifying the projected role of each person, the location of each person, including brief biographies of each person and brief descriptions of previous experience with South Carolina and Federal Law with housing authority operations or other governmental entities in the State of South Carolina. A job responsibility description should be provided for each staff member assigned to the engagement. The Authority understands that engagement partners, managers, and other supervisory staff and specialists identified in response to this RFP may be changed during the term of this proposal. However, the Authority reserves the right to approve or reject replacement personnel. Other audit personnel may be replaced at the discretion of the proposer provided that replacements have substantially the same or better qualifications and/or experience.
      6. Describe the Proposer's experience with forensic auditing projects, the ability to coordinate various aspects of the projects, skill in developing long-term plans, analyzing public entities, recommending organizational strategies, etc.
      7. Describe the range of activities performed by the proposer, such as auditing, forensic auditing, accounting, or finance management services.
      8. Provide pertinent references of similar engagements (include the contact person and telephone number for three (3) clients).
      9. Identify any litigation (including any formal administrative proceedings) in which the proposer is currently involved or has been involved since 2020, resulting from the firms' services in providing external accounting, auditing, or legal services, and indicate the current status or disposition of such litigation proceedings.
      10. Schedule - Specify the approximate schedule for the engagement.
      11. Specify staff hours required to complete the engagement by personnel levels, i.e. total hours for partners, managers, supervisors, seniors, and juniors.
        xii. Provide any further information pertinent to the evaluation of the proposal.
      12. Appendix - Proposer shall include the following exhibits necessary to complete the submission:
        1. Conflict of interest disclosure
        2. Proof of liability insurance
        3. Business License

  2. Submission Deadline: Proposals must be received by February 15, 2024. Proposals must also be submitted in writing as a "Hard Copy." Interested firms or individuals must provide one original response and six (6) copies of the response. Copies must be identical to the original in all respects. Copies should be labeled "original" and "copy," respectively, and delivered to the following address:
    Attn: Sierra Beale, Interim Executive Director
    c/o Beaufort Housing Authority
    1009 Prince Street
    Beaufort, SC 29902

    NOTE: Proposals received after February 15, 2024, will not be considered. All proposals will remain on file for at least sixty (60) days. The Authority reserves the right to reject any and all proposals.

  3. Communication with the Authority: Proposers shall designate one (1) representative to serve as a liaison with the Authority. The individual's name and contact information should be included in the proposal response. All communication between the Authority and the Proposer will be directed through this individual. Email correspondence will be accepted. Any inquiries concerning the contents of this RFP should be directed as follows: Sierra Beale, 1009 Prince Street, Beaufort, SC 29902, Telephone: 843.525.7059, Email Sierra.

  4. Other Services: Evaluation of proposals will be based on requested services. However, any new, enhanced, or innovative services proposed will also be considered. Proposer may offer suggestions and pricing for alternative services offered.

  5. Joint Proposals: Proposers shall respond by and on behalf of their organization only. No joint proposals will be considered. Please provide details of any third-party arrangements necessary for services to be primarily provided by your organization/firm.

  6. Proposal Expenses: Expenses incurred in the preparation of the proposal are the responsibility of the Proposer.

  7. Anti-Lobbying Provision: Between the date of issuance of this solicitation and continuing through the date of award by the Authority, each proposer and its respective employees, agents, sub-contractors, retainers, and representatives shall be prohibited from directly or indirectly discussing, communicating, lobbying for, or promoting its respective proposal. Authority-sponsored inquiries, briefings, interviews, negotiations, or presentations will only be initiated by the Interim Executive Director. This policy is intended to create uniformity of opportunity for all actual or potential proposers, ensure that all contract decisions are made in public, and protect the integrity of the solicitation process. Any violation of this provision may result in the rejection of the proposer's proposal.

Section 9 - Evaluation and Award
The proposals will be evaluated based on the following considerations:

  1. The Authority will evaluate all proposals in accordance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 24 CFR rules and regulations.

  2. Evaluation criteria:
    Criteria - Point Value
    Complete response to all required items - 15
    Ability to provide timely, responsive, and effective services - 20
    Experience in performing previous similar contracts for forensic auditing services - 30
    Proposed Forensic Audit Services - 20
    Price - Although cost will be a factor in selection, it is not the sole, or necessarily the determining factor; the Authority will select a qualified firm based on best value considering the qualifications of the Proposers; and Women or Minority Business - 5

  3. Other Terms and Conditions:
    1. The Authority, in its sole discretion, will select the proposal it deems best, considering all aspects of the proposer's responses. The Authority reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject any and all proposals, to waive any irregularities in any proposal or in the proposal procedures, and to accept or reject any item or combination of items.
    2. Proposers shall thoroughly examine and be familiar with the RFP specifications. The failure or omission of any proposer to examine and/or understand the requirements in this RFP shall in no way relieve the proposer of obligations with respect to this RFP or any subsequent contract related thereto.
    3. Proposers shall in no way make unauthorized changes to the specifications, forms or terms. Doing so may render the response invalid.
    4. If necessary, the Authority may modify the RFP by formal written addendum, which the Authority intends to deliver to all parties the Authority has officially recorded as having received a copy of this RFP (the "Record Receipts"). Receipt of any addendum to the RFP shall be acknowledged on the addendum attached hereto as Exhibit A. The addendum should be signed and returned to the Interim Executive Director electronically to Sierra Beale via email. Failure to do so may cause the proposal to be ineligible for consideration of the contract award. No oral or written amendment to this RFP shall be binding on the Authority.
    5. The Authority may, by writing notice to the particular proposer, reject any proposal if it is determined by the Authority that gratuities, in the form of entertainment, gifts or otherwise, or any illegal gratuity, gift, bribe, or other payment were offered or given by the proposer or any agent or representative of the proposer, to any officer, employee, consultant, or member of the Board of Commissioners of the Authority with a view towards securing a contract or seeking favorable treatment with respect to any award under this RFP.
    6. This RFP does not in any way obligate or commit the Authority to pay any cost associated with the preparation and submission of the proposal or contract for services. Furthermore, the Authority is not obligated to pay any costs incurred by any proposer as a direct result of errors or omissions committed by Authority employees or agents in the processing of this RFP.
    7. In the event any provisions of this RFP are in direct conflict with any provision of the Authority's standard terms and conditions form included with this RFP, the provision of this RFP shall control to the extent of any such conflict.

Proposer Affirmation Form
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Exhibit A - Request for Proposal (RFP) Addendum
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