The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has strict regulations and reporting requirements for the administration of grants and the performance of activities. All grants are subject to audit by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Homeland Security—and most large grants are audited. These OIG audits can become costly if your organization has run afoul of the regulations and reporting requirements.
Baker Donelson’s Disaster Recovery Team can advise you regarding an upcoming FEMA audit or assist and represent you during the audit process. We can also assist you in filing and pursuing an appeal of an audit adjudication.
FEMA’s Office of the Inspector General routinely audits state and local governments and non-profit organizations that receive FEMA disaster assistance funds. If the Inspector General (IG) determines that the grant applicant did not spend the funds according to federal regulations and FEMA guidelines, FEMA can demand the grant money back. Often, it is merely a matter of providing documentation in the form FEMA expects. Other common disallowances involve expenditures for ineligible items or duplicate payments from insurance companies.
Our team can advise and assist your organization before, during or after the IG’s audit. We can help you address all issues regarding a FEMA audit.
Our team can also help you file and pursue an appeal of an adverse audit determination. This includes an appeal to the Regional Administrator and an appeal to the Assistant Administrator for Disaster Assistance at FEMA.
Procurement Procedures and Documentation
Many disputes over FEMA grants and contracts could be avoided if local governments, utilities and contractors simply followed certain procurement procedures and provided adequate documentation. Our team can provide you with advice regarding compliance with specific grant provisions. We can also provide more generalized education and training services designed to help your organization avoid problems with FEMA.