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Disaster Recovery

Press Releases tagged with "Disaster Recovery"

  • DHS OIG Audit Determines FEMA Lacked Control over Mississippi’s Coastal Retrofit Program

    For More Information, Contact

    Public Affairs (202) 254-4100

    For Immediate Release

    Download PDF (95.06 KB)

    A new report from the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General (OIG) cites the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with mismanagement and lax oversight of $29.9 million in hazard mitigation grant funds awarded to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) for the state’s Coastal Retrofit Program.

    In the report, “Hazard Mitigation Grant Funds Awarded to MEMA for the Mississippi Coastal Retrofit Program,” OIG auditors determined FEMA did not effectively oversee its grantee and consequently failed to ensure MEMA complied with Federal regulations. The result was misuse of disaster relief funds designated to help 2,000 Mississippi homeowners to strengthen their homes against wind damage in future disasters. Specifically, MEMA failed to:

    • Complete the scope of work, retrofitting only 886 of the 2,000 homes in the proposed scope of the program;
    • Disclose, a timely manner, a drawdown of FEMA funds totaling $3.7million; and
    • Disallow excessive markup on prime contractor invoices.

    This is the second, and final OIG report of MEMA’s misuse of Hazard Mitigation grant funds. It was conducted after OIG received complaints of irregularities from persons within the program. In August 2016, OIG issued a management advisory (OIG 16-115-D), recommending that FEMA suspend all grant payments for the $29.9 million program until Mississippi properly account for the funds.

    The audit scope spans more than a decade, August 29, 2005 through October 26, 2015. FEMA agreed with most of the OIG’s recommendations and MEMA has taken positive steps toward making the state’s coastal retrofit program transparent and efficient.

    “This program fell far short of its goal of aiding Mississippi 2,000 homeowners due to mismanagement,” said Inspector General John Roth. “While I am pleased that FEMA and MEMA have both taken positive steps to improve the retrofit effort, I am disappointed at their lack of oversight of disaster relief funds.”

    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
  • DHS OIG Audit Finds that FEMA’s Management of Its Flood Mapping Programs is Inadequate

    For More Information, Contact

    Public Affairs (202) 254-4100

    For Immediate Release

    Download PDF (82.44 KB)

    A new Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General (OIG) report reveals that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) needs to improve its oversight and management of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood mapping program. OIG auditors concluded that without the recommended improvements, FEMA cannot provide the public with a reliable representation of its true flood vulnerability or ensure that NFIP rates reflect the real risk of flooding. Flood hazard identification and mapping is an integral part of the NFIP and a foundation for flood plain management, flood insurance, and flood mitigation.

    The report, “FEMA Needs to Improve Management of Its Flood Mapping Programs,” found that as of December 2016, only 42% of the total flood map miles in FEMA’s inventory were updated and valid, meaning that more than half of flood map miles in the database either required a re-study or still needed to be assessed and validated. This falls well short of FEMA’s internal performance goal of 64% updated and valid flood maps, revised downward from 80% when it became clear that FEMA would not reach its goal.

    OIG auditors found that this was caused in part because of ineffective financial management of flood map projects, an outdated life cycle cost estimate for the program, and weak oversight of the progress of flood map projects—especially those placed on hold due to outside circumstances. Of the 88 projects tested by OIG auditors, 65 were on hold for more than a year.

    FEMA also lacks oversight to ensure that its flood mapping partners—such as private engineering firm contractors, state and local governments, and regional agencies—comply with FEMA’s guidance ensuring the quality of flood maps.

    “The recent flooding in Texas after Hurricane Harvey serves as a devastating example of the importance of accurate and reliable flood maps,” said Inspector General John Roth. “We are optimistic that our recommended changes will improve FEMA’s management of the flood mapping program and introduce internal controls to ensure the quality of the maps produced by FEMA’s partners.”

    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area