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Asbury Park, New Jersey, Needs Assistance in Supporting More Than $2 Million in FEMA Grant Funds for Hurricane Sandy Debris and Emergency Work

Executive Summary

The City of Asbury Park, New Jersey, (City) received a $9.3 million Public Assistance grant award from the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (New Jersey), a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grantee, for damages resulting from Hurricane Sandy, which occurred in October 2012. Our audit objective was to determine whether the City accounted for and expended FEMA funds according to Federal requirements. The City generally accounted for and expended FEMA funds for permanent work according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines. However, the City did not provide adequate support for $771,461 of the $798,819 it had claimed for debris removal and emergency work at the time of our audit. As a result, FEMA has no assurance that these costs are valid and eligible. FEMA initially estimated that debris and emergency work would exceed $2 million. Because we conducted this audit early in the grant cycle, the City has an opportunity to supplement deficient documentation or locate missing documentation before too much time elapses. FEMA should disallow any costs the City cannot adequately support and direct New Jersey to assist the City in properly supporting the costs it has claimed and additional costs the City plans to claim. The City also did not include all federally required contract provisions in five contracts totaling $3.9 million. We did not question these contract costs, because this instance of noncompliance did not cause negative consequences and because the City otherwise complied with Federal procurement standards.

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