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FEMA

  • FEMA’s Advance Contract Strategy for Disasters in Puerto Rico

    Executive Summary

    Following Hurricane Maria, FEMA did not maximize the use of advance contracts to address identified capability deficiencies and needs in Puerto Rico.  Specifically, we identified 49 of 241 new contracts issued in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria for the same goods or services covered by existing advance contracts.  We attributed FEMA’s limited use of advance contracts to its lack of a strategy and documented planning process for ensuring maximum use of advance contracts. Further, FEMA did not maintain contract files in accordance with Federal acquisition regulations and departmental or its own policy.  This occurred because FEMA’s Office of the Chief Procurement Officer did not have controls in place to ensure contract personnel follow Federal regulations and departmental or its own internal policy.  As a result, FEMA’s ability to hold contractors accountable for deliverables is hindered if contract files are not easily located. We made four recommendations to help FEMA improve its strategy for advance contracts, its process for identifying capability needs and gaps, and its contract file management practices. FEMA concurred with all four recommendations and described corrective actions it plans to take.

    Report Number
    OIG-20-20
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • DHS Should Seek a Unified Approach when Purchasing and Using Handheld Chemical Identification Devices

    Executive Summary

    DHS does not have a unified approach for procuring and using handheld chemical identification devices despite the widespread use of these devices across multiple components.  We recommended DHS establish a process to coordinate joint needs across components and maximize savings from strategic sourcing opportunities.  We made two recommendations that should help improve unity of effort in procuring and using handheld chemical identification devices.  DHS concurred with recommendation 1 but did not concur with recommendation 2.

    Report Number
    OIG-20-16
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • FEMA Should Recover $5.57 Million in Grant Funds Awarded to Frasier Meadows Manor, Inc., Boulder, Colorado

    Executive Summary

    Colorado’s Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (Colorado) did not effectively oversee its subrecipient, Frasier Meadows, to ensure it was aware of and followed Federal procurement regulations and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines.  In addition, FEMA should have ensured Colorado delivered assistance to Frasier Meadows consistent with the FEMA-State Agreement and the State Administrative Plan.  We recommended the Regional Administrator, FEMA Region VIII, disallow $5.57 million for contracts and direct Colorado to work with Frasier Meadows officials to ensure they implement their updated Federal procurement policies and procedures in the event of a future disaster.  FEMA officials agreed with both recommendations.  Prior to final issuance of this report, FEMA took action to resolve and close both recommendations.  No further action is required.

    Report Number
    OIG-20-17
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • FEMA Purchased More Manufactured Housing Units Than It Needed in Texas After Hurricane Harvey

    Executive Summary

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) did not balance its Manufactured Housing Unit (MHU) program costs with disaster-related housing needs.  In response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas, FEMA overestimated the number of MHUs it needed by nearly 2,600, which amounted to purchase, transportation, and storage costs of at least $152 million.  The agency also overestimated the number of tank and pump systems (TPS) it needed to operate the fire sprinklers, by nearly 2,400, which amounted to purchase and transportation costs of approximately $29 million.  Following Hurricane Harvey, FEMA focused on providing prompt assistance and did not emphasize financial accountability and recordkeeping.  Had FEMA better managed and overseen the MHU program, it could have put an estimated $182 million to better use to assist survivors from Hurricane Harvey or other disasters.  We made four recommendations that will help FEMA better manage its MHU program.  FEMA concurred with the recommendations. 

    Report Number
    OIG-20-15
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • Review of Weld County, Colorado FEMA Grant Award Disaster No. 4145-DR-CO, Applicant No. 123-99123-00

    Executive Summary

    Weld County, Colorado did not always follow Federal procurement standards in awarding contracts for disaster work.  As a result of our review, we identified and discussed with FEMA various areas where it should review and adjust for cost reasonableness the funding amounts that a project and program management contractor charged related to Weld County.  FEMA agreed to review the costs for reasonableness, unless if FEMA disallowed all of the costs for procurement violations.  We subsequently reviewed FEMA’s cost analysis documentation for Weld County project closeouts related to this disaster.  We found that FEMA appropriately reduced final project amounts due to improper procurements and cost reasonableness concerns, including unreasonable contractor hourly rates.  Consequently, made no recommendations. 

    Report Number
    OIG-20-11
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • Verification Review of the City of Evans, Colorado - OIG Audit Report (OIG-16-78-D)

    Executive Summary

    We determined that the Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s technical assistance and monitoring of the City of Evans’ (City) procurement and project-related activities are effective and that FEMA’s corrective actions met the intent of our recommendation 2.  We also determined that the City awarded contracts according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines.  If Colorado’s technical assistance and monitoring continue, FEMA should have reasonable assurance the City will spend the remaining $7.17 million in grant funds for eligible disaster work according to Federal regulations.

    Report Number
    OIG-20-14-VR
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • Aransas County, Texas, Needs Continued Assistance and Monitoring to Ensure Proper Management of Its FEMA Grant

    Executive Summary

    Aransas County’s procurement policies and procedures are not adequate to meet minimum Federal procurement regulations or address key procurement elements despite guidance and contacts with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management (Texas).  We recommended the Regional Administrator, FEMA Region VI, require Texas to continue providing additional technical assistance and monitoring to the County, and provide to DHS OIG documentation supporting FEMA’s actions to that end.  FEMA officials agreed with both recommendations.  Prior to final issuance of this report, FEMA took action to resolve and close both recommendations.  No further action is required. 

    Report Number
    OIG-20-12
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • Risk Assessment of FEMA's Grant Closeout Process

    Executive Summary

    As required under the Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act of 2016, Public Law 114-117, we conducted a risk assessment of FEMA’s grant closeout process to determine whether a full audit is warranted in the future.  We identified risks in three overarching areas:  Unreliable Systems of Record, Lack of Integration in Grant Closeout Policies and Guidance, and Delays in Grant Closeout and Deobligation of Funds.  As a result, we may conduct a full audit of FEMA’s grant closeout process at a future date.  DHS and FEMA concurred with our risk assessment results.  We made no recommendations to FEMA.

    Report Number
    OIG-20-10
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • Refugio County, Texas, Has Implemented Adequate Procurement Policies, Procedures, and Business Practices to Manage Its FEMA Grant

    Executive Summary

    We verified that Refugio County, Texas awarded contracts that complied with Federal procurement regulations and FEMA guidelines.  We determined that the County initially did not have written procurement policies to comply with all Federal procurement regulations.  Instead, for purchases and contracting, County officials said they followed Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 262.  In response to our audit, the County adopted written procurement procedures to comply with Federal requirements.  The report contains no recommendations.  FEMA did not submit a formal response to our draft report, but informally replied that it did not identify any issues requiring further action by FEMA.

    Report Number
    OIG-20-08
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • Major Management and Performance Challenges Facing the DHS

    Executive Summary

    Based on our recent and prior audits, inspections, special reviews, and investigations, we consider the most serious management and performance challenges currently facing DHS to be: (1) Managing Programs and Operations Effectively and Efficiently during times of Changes in Leadership, Vacancies, Hiring Difficulties; (2) Coordinating Efforts to Address the Sharp Increase in Migrants Seeking to Enter the United States through our Southern Border; (3) Ensuring Cybersecurity in an Age When Confidentiality, Integrity, and the Availability of Information Technology Are Essential to Mission Operations; (4) Ensuring Proper Financial Planning, Payments, and Internal Controls; and (5) Improving FEMA’s Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts.  Addressing and overcoming these challenges requires firm leadership; targeted resources; and a commitment to mastering management fundamentals, data collection and dissemination, cost-benefit/risk analysis, and performance measurement. 

    Report Number
    OIG-20-02
    Issue Date
    Document File
    Fiscal Year
    2020
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