The Diva does not usually do breaking news flashes, but a couple of fresh emails from the DHS Office of Inspector General regarding financial matters at FEMA probably are of special interest to this audience. For a full list of DHS/OIG reports dealing with FEMA, go to this website. The two most recent releases are as follows:
OIG Audit Cites Millions in Unaccounted-for Funds
A New Orleans nonprofit that received more than $19 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for damage sustained during Hurricane Katrina has so far accounted for only $5.3 million and engaged in prohibited contracting practices, according to an audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Department of Homeland Security.
The OIG found that the University Of New Orleans Research and Technology Foundation (Foundation) did not follow Federal contracting guidelines, which call for “open and free competition,” as well as opportunities for small business and those owned by women or minorities. On that basis, the OIG questioned more than $9.6 million in contract payments.
OIG auditors further determined that the Foundation, which was originally awarded $12 million by FEMA, ran up $7 million in cost overruns without obtaining required permission from FEMA.
They also noted that the Foundation’s accounting for taxpayer funds was still far from complete, eight years after Katrina and an average of four years after all repair projects were completed.
Flawed FEMA System Could Hamper Disaster Relief
After spending more than $247 million on a high
tech system, the Federal Emergency Manage- ment Agency (FEMA) may still not be able to efficiently deliver emergency supplies to survivors of a catastrophic disaster, an Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit has found.
The report, “FEMA’s Logistics Supply Chain Management System May Not Be Effective During a Catastrophic Disaster,” found the system, developed over nine years, cannot interface with those of its partners and suppliers, making it difficult to track and locate emergency supplies. The report also noted that FEMA does not have enough trained employees to manage the system.