Consultant Costs Allowed by FEMA at Local Level

FEMA works to draw line on high-cost disaster consultants five years after flood. From news article about Cedar Rapids, Iowa:

Weathered consultants with Hurricane Katrina on their resumes showed up here almost instantly as city, county and school district leaders new to giant natural disasters picked themselves up and began the work to recover from the city’s historic flood of 2008.

More than five years later, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the local governmental entities are still tussling over consultant pay, which at one point early on here had one consultant referred to as Mr. $425-an-hour.

The ongoing pay dispute is about more than it seems, and it centers on the issue of just how thoughtful — or how aggressive and street-wise — local jurisdictions need to be in using outside consultants to help FEMA decide the size of a local community’s federal disaster relief.
And in the end, taxpayers are left to wonder if some disputes might be worthy ones, and to ask if they are for the home team or for the federal government.

1 thought on “Consultant Costs Allowed by FEMA at Local Level

  1. If the government had the staff to do the job, they wouldn’t need consultants. Consultants, by working many disasters, have the best working knowledge to help localities with claims. They are worth every penny they are paid. Locals can bid, so they don’t have to choose the most expensive consultant. Small business consultants provide excellent service without all the overhead. When I consult for a larger prime contractor, my rate is sometimes as little as 18% of what they bill the customer for my services. When I work independently, the customer pays 82% less. It’s a fact.

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