FEMA's Procurement and Cost Reimbursement Review Process Needs Improvement
We determined that FEMA did not ensure procurements and costs for debris removal operations in Monroe County, Florida, met Federal requirements and FEMA guidelines. Specifically, FEMA did not adequately review local entities’ procurements for debris removal projects and reimbursed local entities for questionable costs. These deficiencies were due to weaknesses in FEMA training and its quality assurance process. As a result, FEMA approved reimbursement to local entities for nearly $25.6 million (more than $23 million in Federal share) for debris removal projects, including contracts that may not have met Federal procurement requirements, and more than $2 million in questionable costs. Without improvements to FEMA’s training and project review processes, FEMA risks continuing to expose millions of dollars in disaster relief funds to fraud, waste, and abuse. We made three recommendations with which FEMA officials concurred. Based on the information FEMA provided, we consider the three recommendations resolved and open.