Hurricanes Gustav and Ike Disaster Assistance: FEMA Strengthened Its Fraud Prevention Controls, but Customer Service Needs Improvement

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO's previous work on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita identified fraud, waste, and abuse resulting from a lack of fraud-prevention controls within the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) assistance programs. For example, FEMA did not verify the identities or addresses of individuals applying for aid under its Individuals and Households Program (IHP). FEMA also did not verify the eligibility of individuals seeking shelter in FEMA-paid-for hotels and made duplicate payments to individuals who applied multiple times. GAO made numerous recommendations designed to improve these controls. To follow ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. June 19, 2009.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO's previous work on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita identified fraud, waste, and abuse resulting from a lack of fraud-prevention controls within the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) assistance programs. For example, FEMA did not verify the identities or addresses of individuals applying for aid under its Individuals and Households Program (IHP). FEMA also did not verify the eligibility of individuals seeking shelter in FEMA-paid-for hotels and made duplicate payments to individuals who applied multiple times. GAO made numerous recommendations designed to improve these controls. To follow up on this work, GAO conducted undercover tests of the IHP process during the response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. This report discusses (1) whether FEMA's controls have improved since Katrina and Rita and (2) issues GAO identified related to the customer service that FEMA provided. GAO submitted bogus applications for disaster assistance, met with FEMA officials, and contacted actual disaster victims to determine their experiences applying for aid."

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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.

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  • June 19, 2009

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Hurricanes Gustav and Ike Disaster Assistance: FEMA Strengthened Its Fraud Prevention Controls, but Customer Service Needs Improvement, report, June 19, 2009; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298063/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.