Disaster Assistance: Improvement Needed in Disaster Declaration Criteria and Eligibility Assurance Procedures

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1990, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided more than $27 billion in disaster assistance, more than half of which was spent for public assistance projects, such as repairs of damaged roads, government buildings, utilities, and hospitals. FEMA uses established criteria to determine whether to (1) recommend that the President declare a disaster and (2) once a disaster has been declared, approve and fund Public Assistance projects. In 1999, FEMA published formal criteria for recommending the presidential approval of disaster declarations. These criteria include ... continued below

Creation Information

United States. General Accounting Office. August 31, 2001.

Context

This report is part of the collection entitled: Government Accountability Office Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this report can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this report or its content.

Publisher

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this report. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1990, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided more than $27 billion in disaster assistance, more than half of which was spent for public assistance projects, such as repairs of damaged roads, government buildings, utilities, and hospitals. FEMA uses established criteria to determine whether to (1) recommend that the President declare a disaster and (2) once a disaster has been declared, approve and fund Public Assistance projects. In 1999, FEMA published formal criteria for recommending the presidential approval of disaster declarations. These criteria include both minimum financial thresholds and other qualitative measures that FEMA applies in deciding whether to recommend presidential approval. These criteria do not necessarily indicate a state's ability to pay for the damage because they do not consider the substantial differences in states' financial capacities to respond when disasters occur. As a result, federal funds may be provided for some disasters when they are not needed. Problems with applying FEMA's criteria remain. In part, these problems may persist because many of the staff assigned to disaster field offices who make eligibility decisions are temporary and may not have the skills and training needed to make appropriate decisions. FEMA has developed a credentialing program to establish qualifications and training requirements for these staff but has not implemented this program. FEMA officials said that budgetary and programmatic factors have delayed implementation. In addition, FEMA's review process does not ensure that all projects are reviewed by the most knowledgeable officials. FEMA also lacks centralized, quantified information that would be helpful for managing the Public Assistance program. Its information system--essentially an electronic filing cabinet--stores information project by project and does not provide effectively for programwide analysis. Furthermore, the system is unreliable and difficult to use, according to FEMA officials. As a result, data are lost or never entered."

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this report in the Digital Library or other systems.

Collections

This report is part of the following collection of related materials.

Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

What responsibilities do I have when using this report?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this report.

Creation Date

  • August 31, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this report last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 0
Total Uses: 5

Where

Geographical information about where this report originated or about its content.

Place Name

Publication Place

Map Information

  • map marker Automatically generated Place Name coordinates.
  • map marker Automatically generated Publication Place coordinates.
  • Repositioning map may be required for optimal printing.

Mapped Locations

Interact With This Report

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

International Image Interoperability Framework

IIF Logo

We support the IIIF Presentation API

United States. General Accounting Office. Disaster Assistance: Improvement Needed in Disaster Declaration Criteria and Eligibility Assurance Procedures, report, August 31, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc292487/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.