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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 051-99051-00; Jefferson Parish
DSR ID# Project Worksheets 13858, 14032, 15071, 15090, 15109, 15112, and 15310; Mold Remediation and Stabilization
December 17, 2008
Colonel Thomas Kirkpatrick (Retired)
State Coordinating Officer
Governors Office of Homeland Security
and Emergency Preparedness
415 North 15th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Re: Second AppealJefferson Parish, PA ID 051-99051-00, Mold Remediation and Stabilization
, FEMA-1603-DR-LA, Project Worksheets (PWs) 13858, 14032, 15071, 15090, 15109, 15112,
Dear Colonel Kirkpatrick:
This is in response to your letter dated December 14, 2007, which transmitted the referenced
second appeals on behalf of Jefferson Parish (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the
Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA)
decision to limit Public Assistance funding for mold remediation and stabilization at seven
facilities. The Applicant seeks reimbursements totaling $15,691,794.
Following Hurricane Katrina, the Applicant entered into verbal sole-source, non-competitive, time and materials contracts for mold remediation and stabilization of the following seven facilities that were impacted by water damage:
West Bank Health Clinic (PW13858) 18,000 square foot, single-story facility (2 contracts).
County Courthouse (PW 14032) 110,000 square foot, nine-story facility (2 contracts).
Salvador Liberto Building (PW 15071) 6,656 square foot, single-story facility (1 contract).
District Attorneys Building (PW 15090) 110,705 square foot facility, six-story facility
Government Services Building 137,700 square foot, six-story facility (4 contracts).
West Bank Juvenile Justice Complex comprised of five facilities (2 contracts).
Joseph Yeni Building 10,000 square foot, 10-story office building (5 contracts).
The Applicant completed the mold remediation stabilization work prior to FEMAs inspection of the sites and requested reimbursement of $15,691,794. The contractors completed work on the damaged facilities based on a verbal agreement with the Applicant. The Applicant signed written contracts after the contractors completed the work. FEMA asked the Applicant to provide detailed scopes of work and cost estimates for the projects. The Applicant provided logs for labor hours, equipment use, and materials, but no documents to support the extent of the work beyond hours logged. Because the Applicant did not submit a detailed scope of work and did not follow Federal procurement procedures, FEMA inspected the facilities and developed a scope of work for each facility and determined that the reasonable cost for mold remediation and stabilization efforts was $6,984,555. FEMA obligated $1,133,737 for the seven buildings (see enclosure). The amount reflected anticipated insurance payments for the County Courthouse (PW14032) and the Joseph Yeni Building (PW 15310). The Regional Administrator sustained this determination on first appeal.
The Applicant submitted second appeals in seven letters dated October 10, 2007, and reiterated its original claim stated in the first appeal. The Applicant challenged the method FEMA used to establish reasonable costs. Specifically, it stated that R.S. Means
is not an appropriate tool for developing scopes of work and the use of historical rates for equipment and labor (including rates from Lake Charles) was inappropriate.
Applicants who seek reimbursement under the Public Assistance Program must comply with the Federal procurement requirements contained in 44 CFR §13.36. In addition, applicants must describe in sufficient detail the scope of work for which they seek reimbursement. The Applicant did not comply with these requirements. In recognition of the fact that the Applicant performed eligible work on the seven facilities, FEMA inspected the facilities to determine a reasonable scope of work and level of effort to support funding the projects. FEMA used R.S. Means Building Construction Cost Data
and R.S. Means Environmental Remediation Estimating Method, Second Edition
to estimate the level of effort for various tasks involved in the mold remediation and stabilization efforts. This is an appropriate use of the tool. R.S. Means
provides estimated costs to perform various tasks. FEMA used this data as well as local historical cost data, local home buildings association cost data, and local retail merchants prices to develop reasonable costs for the various tasks. FEMA reviewed regional cost data from Lake Charles as part of its analysis, but did not explicitly use this data to determine final eligible costs.
I have reviewed all information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the procedures FEMA used to develop the scopes of work and reasonable costs for the seven projects were appropriate. The Regional Administrators decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance Program regulations and policies. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: William Peterson