This interim report is part of an ongoing audit to determine the extent FEMA is meeting disaster survivors’ transitional shelter needs after the California wildfires and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017. We determined that FEMA does not require disaster survivors to notify the agency when they vacate hotels participating in the TSA program, thus allowing the hotels to continue to bill FEMA for unoccupied rooms. Because FEMA is unaware when disaster survivors vacate the hotels, the agency does not know the magnitude of unnecessary hotel charges. Consequently, FEMA could not account for associated TSA payments it may have paid since August 2017, related to the 2017 hurricane season and California wildfires.
Consistent with CDC guidance, most Office of Inspector General employees are currently serving the American people remotely. We are determined to keep interruptions to our operations to a minimum, and we appreciate your patience during this time.
Information and guidance about COVID-19 is available at coronavirus.gov.
- Executive SummaryReport NumberOIG-19-37Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaKeywordsFiscal Year2019
Management Alert - FEMA Did Not Safeguard Disaster Survivors' Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (REDACTED)Executive Summary
Through the TSA program, FEMA provides transitional sheltering in hotels to disaster survivors displaced by emergencies or major disasters. TSA reduces the number of survivors in congregate emergency shelters by providing hotel lodging. During our ongoing audit of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, we determined that FEMA violated the Privacy Act of 19741 and Department of Homeland Security policy2 by releasing to the PII and SPII of 2.3 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires in 2017.3Report NumberOIG-19-32Issue DateDocument FileKeywordsFiscal Year2019
Management Alert - Issues Requiring Action at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in Adelanto, CaliforniaExecutive Summary
We identified a number of serious issues that violate U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) 2011 Performance-Based National Detention Standards and pose significant health and safety risks at the facility. Specifically, we are concerned about nooses in detainee cells, improper and overly restrictive segregation, and untimely and inadequate detainee medical care. We recommended that ICE conduct a full review and inspection of the Adelanto ICE Processing Center and the GEO Group’s management of the center to immediately to ensure compliance with ICE’s 2011 Performance-Based National Detention Standards. Specifically, ICE must review and ensure compliance with: Personal Care Required; Segregation; and Medical Care. We made one recommendation to improve conditions at the facility.Report NumberOIG-18-86Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaFiscal Year2018
- Executive Summary
In December 2014, OIG previously reported on the effectiveness and cost of the UAS program.2 Our report disclosed CBP had not developed performance measures needed to accurately assess program effectiveness and make informed decisions. CBP also did not recognize all UAS operating costs and, as such, the Congress and public may be unaware of the amount of resources invested in the program. This audit determined that CBP has not ensured effective safeguards for surveillance information, such as images and video, collected on and transmitted from its UAS. Without a privacy assessment, CBP could not determine whether ISR Systems contained data requiring safeguards per privacy laws, regulations, and DHS policy. CBP’s failure to implement adequate security controls according to Federal and DHS policy could result in potential loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ISR Systems and its operations.Report NumberOIG-18-79Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaFiscal Year2018
- Executive Summary
USCIS has inadequate controls for verifying that foreign nationals seeking lawful permanent residence status meet health-related standards for admissibility. First, USCIS is not properly vetting the physicians it designates as civil surgeons. We determined that USCIS designated physicians with a history of patient abuse or a criminal record as civil surgeons. This is occurring because USCIS does not have adequate policies to ensure only suitable physicians are designated as civil surgeons. Second, when reviewing these foreign nationals’ required medical forms, ISOs are accepting incomplete and inaccurate forms because they are not adequately trained and because USCIS is not enforcing its existing policies. USCIS may be placing foreign nationals at risk of abuse by some civil surgeons. USCIS could also be exposing the U.S. population to contagious or dangerous health conditions from foreign nationals erroneously granted lawful permanent resident status.Report NumberOIG-18-78Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaKeywordsFiscal Year2018
Special Report: Lessons Learned from Previous Audit Reports Related to California's Practice of Managing Public Assistance Grant FundsExecutive 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 NumberOIG-18-74Issue DateDocument FileKeywordsFiscal Year2018
Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority, California, Provided FEMA Incorrect Information for Its $33 Million ProjectExecutive Summary
The Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority, through its main engineering contractor (Contractor C), presented incorrect data and misinformed FEMA in obtaining a Federal grant of more than $33 million for its pipeline replacement and relocation project. Authority officials wanted to move the pipeline outside of the Mojave Riverbed, but noted the high cost to do so. Authority officials knew that replacing and relocating the pipeline was the most expensive repair option, as their Contractors A and C informed them. However, through Contractor C, Authority officials repeatedly provided FEMA incorrect data that made Alternative 2 appear to be the least expensive. Based on the incorrect information Authority officials provided, FEMA funded $11 million for the replacement and relocation project in 2013 and an additional $22 million in 2014, a total of $33 million. We question the entire $33 million as ineligible because the Authority did not comply with Federal regulations, and FEMA policies and procedures, in preparing cost estimates for FEMA.Report NumberOIG-18-62Issue DateDocument FileFiscal Year2018
- Executive Summary
This is a Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General (OIG) special report on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and FEMA recipient and sub recipient disaster-related procurements. FEMA is currently responding to some of the most catastrophic disasters in U.S. history — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the October 2017, California wildfires. Because of the massive scale of damage and the large number and high-dollar contracts that will likely be awarded, there is a significant risk that billions of taxpayer dollars may be exposed to waste, fraud, and abuse.Report NumberOIG-18-29Issue DateDocument FileKeywordsFiscal Year2018
Solano County, California, Has Policies, Procedures, and Business Practices to Manage Its FEMA Grant FundingExecutive Summary
Severe winter storms, flooding, and mudslides during January and February 2017 caused significant damage to Solano County, California (County). County officials estimate damages at $1.6 million. Based on our limited testing, the County appears to have in place policies, procedures, and business practices to generally account for and expend FEMA Public Assistance grant funds according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines. The County should be able to account for disaster-related costs on a project-by-project basis and adequately support these costs.Report NumberOIG-18-26Issue DateDocument FileFiscal Year2018
- Executive Summary
The Hospital must improve its policies, procedures, and business practices to account for and expend FEMA grant funds according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines. Specifically, it did not properly document and adequately account for project costs; comply with its overtime policy; and comply with Federal requirements for insurance. Additionally, there were major differences in the damage estimates FEMA and the Hospital calculated.Report NumberOIG-18-17Issue DateDocument FileOversight AreaFiscal Year2018