FEMA

2017


 

DHS OIG: FEMA Should Disallow $2.04 Billion Approved for New Orleans Infrastructure Repairs 

July 2017

FEMA should not have awarded the City and S&W Board the initial $785 million, or the additional $1.25 billion to complete the repairs to damaged infrastructure, because the damages were not eligible for Federal disaster assistance funding. Even though FEMA attributed the damages to the water distribution system directly to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, we concluded that FEMA did not have sufficient documentation to support its decision. In fact, evidence shows that the infrastructure was old and in poor condition even before the hurricanes.

Eligibility for FEMA funding requires that damages be the direct result of the declared disaster, and it is the applicant’s responsibility to show that the damages are disaster-related. Report


 

2016


 

DHS OIG: FEMA Should Recover $267,960 of $4.46 Million in Public Assistance Grant Funds Awarded to the Municipality of Jayuya, Puerto Rico, for Hurricane Irene Damages 

April 2016 

The Municipality of Jayuya, Puerto Rico (Municipality), received a $4.46 million grant award from the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency (Puerto Rico), a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grantee, for damages resulting from Hurricane Irene in August 2011. 

For the projects OIG reviewed, the Municipality generally accounted for and expended FEMA funds according to Federal requirements. However, we did identify $267,960 (Federal share $200,970) of costs that FEMA should disallow. These costs consisted of $237,695 of duplicate benefits and $30,265 of unsupported project costs. Report


 

DHS OIG: FEMA Should Disallow $1.30 Million of $2.58 Million in Public Assistance Grant Funds Awarded to the Municipality of Villalba, Puerto Rico, for Hurricane Irene Damages 

April 2016 

The Municipality of Villalba, Puerto Rico (Municipality), received a $2.58 million grant award from the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency (Puerto Rico), a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grantee, for damages resulting from Hurricane Irene in August 2011. 

The Municipality generally accounted for FEMA funds on a project-by-project basis as Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines require. However, the Municipality did not comply with Federal procurement requirements when awarding two contracts valued at $1.74 million for permanent work: one for $458,525 and one for $1,284,600. FEMA reviewed the costs for the smaller contract and allowed the costs as reasonable, but had not reviewed costs for the larger contract because work was still in progress at the time of our audit. Therefore, OIG questions the $1,284,600 in contract costs that FEMA has not reviewed. 

OIG also identified $14,204 of questionable costs resulting from unsupported and ineligible costs. Report


 

DHS OIG: FEMA Should Recover $312,117 of $1.6 Million Grant Funds Awarded to the Pueblo of Jemez, New Mexico 

March 2016

The Pueblo of Jemez, New Mexico (Pueblo), received a Public Assistance grant award of $1.6 million from the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (New Mexico), a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grantee, for damages from severe storms, flooding, and mudslides that occurred in September 2013. 

The Pueblo accounted for disaster costs on a project-by-project basis. However, the Pueblo did not follow Federal procurement standards in awarding five contracts totaling $312,117. As a result, full and open competition did not occur and FEMA has no assurance that small and minority businesses and women’s business enterprises had sufficient opportunities to bid on federally funded work. In some instances, FEMA also has no assurance that costs were reasonable. Report


 

DHS OIG: FEMA Does Not Provide Adequate Oversight of Its National Flood Insurance Write Your Own Program 

March 2016 

FEMA does not provide adequate oversight of the WYO program under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For flood events occurring between October 2012 and December 2014, the WYO companies received 162,500 claims and paid $7.8 billion to policyholders. Without adequate internal controls in place, FEMA’s NFIP funds may be at risk for fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement. Report


 

DHS OIG: FEMA Should Disallow $1.2 Million of $6.0 Million in Public Assistance Program Grant Funds Awarded to the City of San Diego, California 

January 2016 

The City of Tuscaloosa, Alabama (City) received a $40.4 million grant, of which insurance covered all but $10.1 million. The Public Assistance grant was for damages from severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that occurred in April and May 2011. OIG audited $4.2 million of the $10.1 million net amount awarded. 

The City did not always account for and expend Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines. First, the City did not comply with Federal procurement requirements when awarding a contract valued at $874,055 for professional consulting services.  

In addition, for the projects OIG reviewed, the City did not advise FEMA or Alabama (FEMA’s grantee) that it received $300,315 more in insurance proceeds than initially anticipated. Therefore, FEMA should disallow the $300,315 because FEMA cannot fund costs that insurance covers. Report

Media Coverage

Tuscaloosa News: U.S. audit says city owes $1.2 million


 

DHS OIG: FEMA Should Disallow $1.2 Million of $6.0 Million in Public Assistance Program Grant Funds Awarded to the City of San Diego, California 

January 2016 

OIG audited $4 million of the $6 million of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance grant funds awarded to the City of San Diego, California (City), for damages resulting from heavy rainfall and flooding.

The City generally accounted for FEMA funds adequately, but did not always expend the funds according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines. OIG determined that of the $3,991,282 we audited, $1,163,225 (or 29 percent) was ineligible, including: 

  • $654,348 in excessive landfill costs;
  • $393,704 in fees unrelated to the disaster;
  • $112,279 in costs related to preexisting damages
  • $2,894 in excessive equipment costs. 

Report


 

2015


 

DHS OIG: FEMA Faces Challenges in Verifying Applicants’ Insurance Policies for the Individuals and Households Program 

October 2015

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) spent more than $1.4 billion under the Individuals and Households Program on more than 182,900 applicants with losses related to Hurricane Sandy, as of April 2015. 

Before authorizing Individuals and Households Program payments, FEMA does not verify the accuracy of applicants’ “no insurance coverage” self-certifications. FEMA is thereby exposing Federal disaster assistance funds to possible duplicate, improper, or fraudulent payments. We determined that FEMA paid approximately $250 million in homeowners’ assistance to more than 29,000 Hurricane Sandy applicants who may have had private insurance. Report

Media Coverage

Government Executive: FEMA Paid $250 Million in Duplicate Aid to Hurricane Sandy Victims


 

DHS OIG: FEMA Has No Assurance that Only Designated Recipients Received $6.37 Million in Fuel 

November 2015

After Hurricane Sandy, New York needed substantial amounts of fuel for critical power restoration and emergency public transportation work. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued two mission assignments to the Defense Logistics Agency for this fuel, resulting in fuel deliveries of more than 3.48 million gallons. FEMA subsequently determined that it had requested only 1.7 million gallons of fuel. Ultimately, FEMA paid the Defense Logistics Agency $6.37 million for 1.7 million gallons of fuel. 

FEMA has no assurance that mission-assigned fuel deliveries for New York went only to FEMA- designated recipients. OIG reviewed the $6.37 million FEMA paid the Defense Logistics Agency for 1.7 million gallons of fuel. However, of this amount, OIG found incomplete and questionable supporting documentation for $4.56 million in fuel deliveries. Therefore, OIG could not verify the eligibility of the recipients that received this fuel. In addition, the Defense Logistics Agency delivered $1.81 million of fuel to recipients outside the mission assignment’s scope of work. As a result, FEMA cannot be sure that any of the fuel went to approved power restoration or emergency public transportation work in New York, as FEMA intended. Report

Media Coverage

Washington Times: FEMA can’t verify over $6 million went to Hurricane Sandy relief projects, audit shows


 

DHS OIG: FEMA Should Recover $505,549 of $3.3 Million in Public Assistance Grant Funds Awarded to DeKalb County, Georgia, for Damages from a September 2009 Flood 

November 2015

DeKalb County, Georgia (County), received a $3.3 million grant award from the Georgia Department of Emergency Management (Georgia), a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grantee, for damages resulting from a September 2009 flood. 

The County did not account for FEMA funds on a project-by-project basis as Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines require. We also identified $93,620 (Federal share $70,215) of unneeded project funding that FEMA can deobligate and put to better use. Finally, the County’s claim included $411,929 (Federal share $308,947) of unsupported or ineligible costs:

  • $404,556 of unsupported costs,
  • $5,301of ineligible duplicate benefits, and
  • $2,072 of ineligible markups on contract costs

FEMA should deobligate $93,620 of unneeded project funds and disallow $411,929 of unsupported and ineligible costs. Report


 

DHS OIG: Lower Mississippi River Port-wide Strategic Security Council Did Not Always Properly Manage, Distribute, or Spend Port Security Grant Funds

December 2015

FEMA awarded the Lower Mississippi River Port-wide Strategic Security Council (Council) approximately $108 million in PSGP grant funds from fiscal years 2008 to 2013.  

About 73 percent of the nearly $108 million awarded to the Council to protect critical port infrastructure remains unspent. In addition, we identified more than $9.2 million in questioned costs. Report

Media Coverage

The Advocate: Report: $79 million to protect Louisiana ports against terrorism goes unused, no longer available


 

2013


 

DHS OIG: Unless Modified, FEMA’s Temporary Housing Plans Will Increase Costs by an Estimated $76 Million Annually 

June 2013

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a change in its temporary housing program that OIG estimates will increase costs and reduce efficiency and effectiveness. 

Based on OIG's cost analysis, if FEMA placed manufactured housing units on group sites instead of "park" models on private sites, the increased cost of the temporary housing mission would be $76 million for a 12-month deployment. OIG questions the decision to eliminate the "park" models. Report