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FEMA Should Take Steps To Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Disaster Assistance Helpline for Disaster Survivors That Do Not Speak English or Spanish

Executive Summary

The objective of this aspect ofthe audit was to determine FEM A's efficiency and effectiveness to register non-English/Spanish-speaking disaster survivor$ for disaster assistance and provide them with information through its Helpline. We reviewed the capabilities, management, and policies and procedures of FEMA's Disaster Assistance Helpline from September 2013 to June 2014. To accomplish our objective, we interviewed FEMA officials from the Response and Recovery Division, the National Service Processing Center, Disaster Affairs, External Affairs, Strategic Communications, Public Affairs, and the Helpline itself (operators); reviewed policies, procedures, processes, executive orders, strategy documents, as well as FEMA's limited English Proficiency efforts, as they relate to the Helpline; analyzed the efficiency, effectiveness, and accessibility of the Helpline through covert testing; and performed other procedures necessary to accomplish our objective. We did not assess internal controls related to FEMA's Helpline because it was not necessary to accomplish our objective.

Report Number
OIG-14-118-D
Issue Date
Document File
DHS Agency
Oversight Area
Fiscal Year
2014

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