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FEMA

  • FEMA Should Recover $3,061,819 in Grant Funds Awarded to Jackson County, Florida

    Executive Summary

    The County received about $28.1 million in Public Assistance grant awards from Florida — a FEMA grantee — for damages from severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding in April and May 2014. Jackson County was the first subgrantee in Florida to be approved for a grant award obligation under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance Alternative Procedures (PAAP) pilot program. The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 20131 authorized PAAP and authorized FEMA to implement alternative procedures through the PAAP pilot program. Florida did not fulfill its grantee responsibility to ensure the County followed applicable Federal grant management requirements, and FEMA did not ensure the grantee carried out its responsibilities.

    Report Number
    OIG-19-12
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • FEMA Should Disallow $22.3 Million in Grant Funds Awarded to the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, Montana

    Executive Summary

    FEMA awarded the Chippewa Cree Tribe a $32.4 million Public Assistance Program grant for damages from a June 2010 flood disaster. The award provided 100 percent Federal funding to replace the Tribe’s severely damaged health clinic. The Tribe failed to manage a $32.4 million Public Assistance Program grant from FEMA according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines. As a result, FEMA has no assurance that expenditures the Tribe claimed for Project 2 (engineering and design), and plans to claim for Projects 132 (facility construction) and 133 (site preparation) are valid, allowable, or eligible. Therefore, FEMA should disallow about $22.3 million of the grant award for these three projects.

    Report Number
    OIG-19-06
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • FEMA's Oversight of the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS)

    Executive Summary

    Following the January 13, 2018, false missile alert in Hawaii, Congress requested we examine the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) role in the incident. We concluded that FEMA has limited responsibility for the sending and canceling of state and local alerts. Following the Hawaii false missile alert, three U.S. Senators proposed legislation to define the federal government’s role during false missile alerts, as well as to direct FEMA to recommend best practices in the alerting process. We also identified two areas of concern regarding FEMA’s overall oversight of IPAWS. Although FEMA maintains IPAWS as a messaging platform, state and local alerting authorities must obtain commercially-available emergency alert software to generate a message which passes through IPAWS for authentication and delivery. However, we found that FEMA does not require that this software perform functions critical to the alerting process, such as the ability to preview or cancel an alert. Instead, FEMA only recommends that software vendors include these capabilities as “best practices.”

    Report Number
    OIG-19-08
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • Independent Auditors' Report on DHS' FY 2018 Financial Statements and Internal Control over Financial Reporting

    Executive Summary

    The Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-576) and the Department Of Homeland Security Financial Accountability Act (Public Law 108-330) require us to conduct an annual audit of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) consolidated financial statements and internal control over financial reporting. KPMG noted that the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, DHS’ financial position as of September 30, 2018.

    KPMG issued an adverse opinion on DHS’ internal control over financial reporting of its financial statements as of September 30, 2018. The report identifies the following six significant deficiencies in internal control, the first two of which are considered material weaknesses, and four instances where DHS did not comply with laws and regulations.

    Report Number
    OIG-19-04
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • Management Alert - Observations of FEMA's Debris Monitoring Efforts for Hurricane Irma

    Executive Summary

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its Public Assistance (PA) Program, is currently responding to Hurricane Irma — one of the most catastrophic disasters in recent United States history.  FEMA’s damage estimates for Florida and Georgia exceed $4.2 billion, with debris removal operations constituting approximately 36 percent of the total PA cost.  Debris removal costs in Florida and Georgia are estimated to reach approximately $1.5 billion as of May 2018.  FEMA’s guidance for debris monitoring lacks sufficient information to ensure adequate oversight.  In the 2011 OIG report, FEMA’s Oversight and Management of Debris Removal Operations, we identified deficiencies in FEMA’s debris removal guidance.  To resolve these deficiencies, we made 10 recommendations to, in part, strengthen FEMA’s debris removal guidance and procedure.  In response, FEMA released additional criteria pertaining to debris estimating and monitoring to enhance the overall effectiveness of the process.  FEMA removed the detailed responsibilities when it released its Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG).  Going forward from the PAPPG version 1.0, FEMA relies solely on the subrecipient to monitor the debris removal operations, and removes monitoring responsibilities from both FEMA and the State.  Subrecipients now have a greater responsibility to identify issues or concerns during debris removal operations.  We made three recommendations that when implemented will strengthen FEMA’s debris monitoring operations.  FEMA concurred with all recommendations.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-85
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Special Report: Lessons Learned from Previous Audit Reports Related to California's Practice of Managing Public Assistance Grant Funds

    Executive Summary

    FEMA needs to continue providing technical assistance to and monitoring of California’s Public Assistance grant funding management.  This helps avoid the risk of exposing millions of taxpayer dollars to fraud, waste, or mismanagement and violating the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. In doing so, FEMA can assist California in providing reasonable, but not absolute assurance that Public Assistance subgrant funds are spent in accordance with Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-74
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Department of Homeland Security's FY 2017 Compliance with the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010

    Executive Summary

    DHS did not comply with IPERA because it did not meet one of the six IPERA requirements. Specifically, DHS did not meet its annual reduction targets for 2 of 14 programs. Additionally, we determined that DHS did not provide adequate oversight of the component’s improper testing and reporting.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-72
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Sandy Recovery Improvement Act Review

    Executive Summary

    In July 2017, FEMA reported that it awarded 252 projects under the PA alternative procedures pilot program valued at $11.9 billion, with just 26 of those projects (10.32 percent) closed. During our fieldwork, we gained access to FEMA’s grant management system of record and reviewed supporting documentation for the project worksheets in our scope to determine if FEMA followed its criteria when validating cost estimates. However, FEMA did not sufficiently document actions that it took to validate subrecipient cost estimates to ensure costs are reasonable. Of the three obligated projects we reviewed during our fieldwork, we did not find evidence that FEMA completed the required steps identified to validate the reasonableness of subrecipient cost estimates.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-66
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Cache County, Utah, Needs Additional Assistance and Monitoring to Ensure Proper Management of Its FEMA Grant

    Executive Summary

    The County estimated that it had sustained $2.7 million in damages from severe storms and flooding in February 2017. We conducted the audit early in the grant process to identify areas in which the County may need additional technical assistance and monitoring to ensure compliance with Federal requirements. DHS OIG found that the County does not have adequate procurement policies, procedures, and business practices that comply fully with all Federal standards for its planned procurements, totaling approximately $500,000. At the time of our fieldwork, FEMA had not completed project worksheets to define the scope of disaster work. At this early stage in the grant process, Utah needs to provide the County with additional technical assistance and increased monitoring. Doing so should provide FEMA reasonable, but not absolute, assurance that the County will spend the $2.7 million in total estimated disaster-related costs according to Federal requirements.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-64
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • FEMA Should Recover $20.4 Million in Grant Funds Awarded to Diamondhead Water and Sewer District, Mississippi

    Executive Summary

    The Diamondhead Water and Sewer District (District), received a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant award of $49.3 million from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (Mississippi) for damage resulting from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. We had concerns because it took the District about 10 years to break ground on its new wastewater treatment plant. We also wanted to determine whether FEMA accurately applied its “50 Percent Rule.” we identified $1.5 million of improper procurement, unsupported costs, duplicate insurance benefits, and uncompleted project costs that FEMA should disallow to the District. These problems were largely the result of Mississippi not fulfilling its grantee responsibility to ensure the District properly managed FEMA funds. Mississippi is responsible for monitoring subgrant activities, and is compensated with Federal funds to support subgrant management and oversight. It is FEMA’s responsibility to hold Mississippi accountable for proper grant administration.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-63
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
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