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FEMA Should Recover $216.2 Million Awarded to the Recovery School District in Louisiana for Hurricane Katrina

Executive Summary

As of October 2016, the Recovery School District in Louisiana (RSD) had received a $1.5 billion Public Assistance grant from Louisiana, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grantee, for damages resulting from Hurricane Katrina.  We examined $1.3 billion for a consolidated project as part of the total amount awarded.  In some instances, RSD accounted for and expended portions of the $1.3 billion in Public Assistance grant funds we reviewed according to Federal regulations.  However, FEMA improperly awarded $216.2 million to repair or replace more than 292 Orleans Parish school facilities in RSD.  We made eight recommendations to FEMA to de-obligate $216.2 million of ineligible costs; follow Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines; and re-evaluate documented proof of assessments for the 35 identified projects and reclassify them, as appropriate, to repair-eligible, and de-obligate the cost difference.  FEMA concurred with recommendations 2 through 7 but did not concur with recommendations 1 and 8.  We consider recommendations 2 through 7 resolved and open; recommendations 1 and 8 are unresolved and open.

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