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.
- Executive SummaryReport NumberOIG-18-85Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaKeywordsFiscal Year2018
- Executive Summary
The purpose of this advisory report is to notify FEMA of an issue we observed during our ongoing audit of CalRecycle. We determined that CalRecycle expects it will cost about $230 million to complete debris removal work, and has received invoices totaling $200 million from two contractors performing the work. Yet, these invoices included documentation with numerous discrepancies that did not fully support the invoiced costs as Federal cost principles and procurement standards require. Moreover, as of September 8, 2016, our audit cutoff date, CalRecycle had paid its contractors about $186.4 million of the $200 million in invoiced costs, but had not completed its review of invoices nor collected all missing support records. FEMA and California, therefore, should continue to assist CalRecycle in assuring that all costs are valid and eligible. We recommended that FEMA Region IX Administrator (1) direct California, as grantee, to provide CalRecycle with technical assistance it may need to ensure compliance with all applicable Federal regulations, specifically for document support and contract management, and to avoid improperly funding any of the $230 million ($173 million Federal share) in contract costs CalRecycle estimates it will claim for damages caused by this disaster; and (2) direct California, as grantee, to ensure that all CalRecycle’s cost reimbursement claims for debris removal work are supported with adequate documentation and that costs are eligible in accordance with FEMA’s debris removal guidelines.Report NumberOIG-17-44-DIssue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaFiscal Year2017