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The State of Washington's Oversight of FEMA's Public Assistance Grant Program for Fiscal Years 2015-2017 Was Generally Effective

Executive Summary

In two of the four areas – training and collaboration – Washington’s Emergency Management Division (EMD) and FEMA complied with applicable policies, procedures, and regulations.  In the third functional area – project execution, monitoring and oversight – we did not identify any significant deficiencies.  We found, however, EMD lacked position-specific guidance for all personnel with programmatic responsibilities.  In the last functional area – project and grant closeout – neither EMD nor its subrecipients submitted timely project closeout requests.  In addition, FEMA did not enforce compliance with its own guidance for processing closeouts.  We recommended FEMA ensure EMD complies with its State Administrative Plan by issuing and regularly updating desk manuals.  In addition, we recommended FEMA coordinate with EMD to initiate closeout on behalf of subrecipients for all open, large projects whose period of performance end dates exceed the 90-day regulatory requirement, and submit closeout requests to FEMA for projects exceeding the 180-day requirement.  We made five recommendations to strengthen EMD’s internal controls to improve its oversight of FEMA’s Public Assistance grant program.  FEMA concurred with all five of our recommendations.

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