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Early Warning Audit of FEMA Public Assistance Grants to Lee County, Florida

Executive Summary

We contracted this audit with Cotton & Company LLP, which found that FEMA did not ensure Lee County, Florida (the County) established and implemented policies, procedures, and practices to ensure it accounted for and expended PA program grant funds awarded to disaster areas in accordance with Federal regulations and FEMA guidance.  Specifically, the County requested FEMA funding for $994,425 in unsupported force account labor, equipment, and materials; was unable to provide supporting documentation for $16,210 in costs incurred to operate an emergency shelter; did not maintain adequate documentation to support $267,452 in costs incurred for road repair services; did not include all required provisions in its contracts to obtain disaster recovery services related to Hurricane Irma; and had not evaluated the risk of subrecipients’ noncompliance with Federal requirements, obtained subrecipient audit reports, or developed plans for monitoring subrecipients.  We made nine recommendations that, when implemented, should improve Lee County, Florida’s management of FEMA Public Assistance funds.  FEMA concurred with all nine recommendations.

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