Inspector General of DHS Highly Critical of FEMA’s Spending

From Homeland Security Today this account of a recent report from the Inspector General of DHS. $1 Billion in Questionable DHS FY 2014 Disaster-Related Funding Found by IG. Some excerpts follow:

In FY 2014, the Inspector General told Congress it issued 61 audits of grants, programs and operations funded from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund.

The grant audit reports issued by the IG in FY 2014 included $971.7 million in potential monetary benefits, representing 28 percent of the $3.44 billion of grant funds the IG audited last fiscal year.

Despite the findings of all these IG audits, it “continues to find problems with grant management, ineligible and unsupported costs and noncompliance with federal contracting requirements,” the IG stressed.

A more “significant issue for FY 2014 grant audits,” the IG stated, was the “unused funding that could be put to better use.”

These revelations precede the numerous audit reports issued by the Inspector General documenting many millions in FEMA Public Assistance Grant Funds awarded for Hurricane Katrina damages. The IG stated the millions were improper, improperly used … and “should be recovered by FEMA.” Despite FEMA’s decade of progress after Hurricane Katrina, millions in public assistance grants were misspent, IG concluded.

Additionally, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’ impartial investigative branch, also concluded in a new 93-page audit report that there is no comprehensive, strategic approach to identifying, prioritizing and implementing investments for disaster resilience, which increases the risk that the federal government and nonfederal partners will experience lower returns on investments or lost opportunities to strengthen key critical infrastructure and lifelines.”

Here is the direct link to the Inspector General’s 39 page report.

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