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FEMA Should Recover $4.2 Million of $142.1 Million in Grant Funds Awarded to the City of Gulfport, Mississippi, for Hurricane Katrina Damages

Executive Summary

The City received a $248.3 million grant for 2005 Hurricane Katrina damages. In this third audit of the grant, we reviewed $142.1 million FEMA approved for 43 permanent repair projects. At the time of our audit, the City had not completed work on all projects and, therefore, had not submitted a final claim for all project expenditures. For most of the projects in our audit scope, the City of Gulfport, Mississippi, (City) accounted for and expended Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines. However, the City did not comply with Federal procurement requirements when awarding two contracts for project management services valued at $10.4 million, of which $4.2 million was unreasonable. City officials were not aware that Federal procurement regulations prohibited the use of a qualifications-based contracting method for program management services. However, the grantee (Mississippi) is responsible for ensuring that its subgrantee (the City) is aware of and complies with Federal requirements, as well as for providing technical assistance and monitoring grant activities.

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