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Public Assistance

  • Capacity Audit of FEMA Grant Funds Awarded to the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education

    Executive Summary

    KPMG, LLP found that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) did not always ensure Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) and the Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) established and implemented policies, procedures, and practices to account for and expend Public Assistance (PA) grant funds according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidance.  For example, VIDE did not have policies and procedures to address procurement-related conflicts of interest and related disciplinary actions.  This occurred because FEMA did not adequately train VIDE personnel and did not review these policies and procedures.  We made five recommendations that, when implemented, should improve management of FEMA PA grant funds, ensuring the funds are expended according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidance.  FEMA concurred with the recommendations. 

    Report Number
    OIG-20-30
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • Capacity Audit of FEMA Grant Funds Awarded to the U.S. Virgin Islands Housing and Finance Authority

    Executive Summary

    KPMG, LLC found the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) did not provide adequate guidance to the Virgin Islands Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) and the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Agency (VIHFA) and that VITEMA and VIHFA did not adequately manage FEMA Public Assistance (PA) funds.  Also, VITEMA and VIHFA did not always ensure the accuracy of project funding information or promptly notify FEMA about significant project cost overruns.  This occurred because FEMA did not provide the necessary guidance to and oversight of VITEMA and VIHFA to properly manage PA funds.  Because of these deficiencies, PA programs are at increased risk of mismanagement and expenditure of funds for unallowable activities.  We made seven recommendations to improve VITEMA’s and VIHFA’s management of FEMA PA funds, ensuring they are expended according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidance.  FEMA concurred with the recommendations.

    Report Number
    OIG-20-29
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2020
  • The State of Washington's Oversight of FEMA's Public Assistance Grant Program for Fiscal Years 2015-2017 Was Generally Effective

    Executive Summary

    In two of the four areas – training and collaboration – Washington’s Emergency Management Division (EMD) and FEMA complied with applicable policies, procedures, and regulations.  In the third functional area – project execution, monitoring and oversight – we did not identify any significant deficiencies.  We found, however, EMD lacked position-specific guidance for all personnel with programmatic responsibilities.  In the last functional area – project and grant closeout – neither EMD nor its subrecipients submitted timely project closeout requests.  In addition, FEMA did not enforce compliance with its own guidance for processing closeouts.  We recommended FEMA ensure EMD complies with its State Administrative Plan by issuing and regularly updating desk manuals.  In addition, we recommended FEMA coordinate with EMD to initiate closeout on behalf of subrecipients for all open, large projects whose period of performance end dates exceed the 90-day regulatory requirement, and submit closeout requests to FEMA for projects exceeding the 180-day requirement.  We made five recommendations to strengthen EMD’s internal controls to improve its oversight of FEMA’s Public Assistance grant program.  FEMA concurred with all five of our recommendations.

    Report Number
    OIG-19-64
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • Special Report: Lessons Learned from Previous Audit Reports on Insurance under the Public Assistance Program

    Executive Summary

    We prepared this special report to address challenges FEMA, Texas, Florida, U.S. territories in the Caribbean, and California may face managing insurance under the Public Assistance program in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the October 2017 California wildfires. This report describes lessons learned from findings and recommendations contained in our DHS OIG grant audit reports issued from fiscal years 2013–2017. During fiscal years 2013–2017, we issued 37 Disaster Assistance grant audit reports that disclosed challenges with FEMA’s Public Assistance insurance process. The major recurring challenges we identified included (1) Duplicate benefits in which subrecipients claimed FEMA reimbursement for costs that were covered by insurance; (2) Insufficient insurance in which subrecipients did not obtain and maintain sufficient insurance coverage required as a condition for receiving Federal disaster assistance; and (3) Misapplied or misallocated insurance proceeds in which subrecipients received insurance proceeds, and misapplied or did not allocate those proceeds to FEMA projects.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-12
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
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