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FEMA Should Recover $1.3 Million of Public Assistance Grant Funds Awarded to Desire Street Ministries, New Orleans, Louisiana, for Hurricane Katrina (

Executive Summary

The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (Louisiana), a FEMA grantee, awarded Desire Street Ministries $10.1 million for damages resulting from Hurricane Katrina, which ccurred on August 29, 2005. The award provided 100 percent funding for five large and two small projects. The audit covered the period August 29, 2005, through November 1, 2012, the cutoff date of our audit and ncluded a review of all projects (see Exhibit A, Schedule of Projects Audited and Questioned Costs). As of our cutoff date, Desire Street Ministries had claimed $1.8 million, but had not completed all its approved projects. Subsequently, in December 2012, Desire Street Ministries requested approval for an alternate project to build a community wellness center, rather than replace its school building. FEMA approved the alternate project in January 2014. Therefore, for this alternate project, we extended our audit cutoff date to January 23, 2014. Desire Street Ministries had started the design phase for the community wellness center, but had not started construction.

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