We found that FEMA overpaid its employees because it mistakenly believed the Department’s payroll provider had an automated control to prevent payments over the annual cap, and because it did not follow its own premium pay policy. We also found that FEMA has no effective policy or practice to determine the Fair Labor Standards Act status of FEMA employees during disaster deployments, which also contributed to this issue. Since discovering the overpayments, FEMA has been working to calculate how many people were overpaid, but it cannot finish that analysis until it addresses a number of outstanding questions.
- Executive SummaryReport NumberOIG-18-71Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaFiscal Year2018
- Executive Summary
This is a Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General management alert to make the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its partners aware of active attempts — observed during our ongoing disaster oversight work in Puerto Rico — to profit from disaster survivors seeking FEMA assistance. We observed posted notices featuring a logo similar to FEMA’s, advertising paid services to complete the FEMA disaster assistance application on behalf of survivors. These services appear to be associated with FEMA, but actually are not, and demand a fee for services FEMA provides at no cost.
To complete the disaster assistance application forms, the paid service requires disaster survivors to provide their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) — such as their social security number, household annual income, and bank account numbers — to a third party, which exposes survivors to unnecessary risks.Report NumberOIG-18-30Issue DateDocument FileDHS AgencyOversight AreaFiscal Year2018