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FEMA Should Recover $5.3 Million of the $52.1 Million of Public Assistance Grant Funds Awarded to the Bay St. Louis Waveland School District in Mississippi—Hurricane Katrina

Executive Summary

The District received a Public Assistance grant award of $52.1 million from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (State), a FEMA grantee, for damages resulting from Hurricane Katrina, which occurred in August 2005. The award provided 100 percent FEMA funding for debris removal activities, emergency protective measures, and permanent repairs to buildings and faci lities. The award consisted of 721arge projects and 10 small projects. We audited 36 projects with awards totaling $43.8 million. This included a full scope audit of the costs claimed for seven large projects with awards totaling $27.0 million. We also performed a limited review of 29 additional projects totaling $16.8 million to determine whether the District (1) completed the projects (3 small projects), (2) followed Federal procurement standards when using contractors to complete work (2llarge projects}, and (3} received duplicate benefits for some projects from another funding source (5 large projects}. See Exhibit, Schedule of Projects Audited and Quest ioned Costs. The audit covered the period of August 29, 2005, to February 6, 2013, during which the District daimed $42.0 million in FEMA funds for the 36 projects. At the time of our audit, the District had not completed work on all projects and, therefore, had not submitted a final daim to the State for all project expenditures.

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