PA ID# 073-UVBMP-00; California Department of Insurance
DSR ID# xxx; Request for Public Assistance
Citation:FEMA-1731-DR-CA, California Department of Insurance (CDI)
Summary: CDI submitted an RPA to the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) on January 31, 2008, 37 days after the established deadline of December 24, 2007. FEMA denied the CDIs RPA due to late submission.
In a letter dated April 18, 2008, CDI appealed the denial of its RPA because it stated that it delayed filing because it reasonably believed that it was complying with the application process. CDI claimed that a Cal EMA Public Assistance Coordinator (PAC) instructed it to schedule a meeting prior to filing its RPA. CDI interpreted this meeting to be the initial step to completing the RPA. Due to scheduling changes, the meeting did not occur until January 30, 2008; at which point a Cal EMA PAC informed CDI that the RPA deadline had passed. In a letter dated October 14, 2008, the Deputy Regional Administrator denied its appeal because the RPA was not submitted within the regulatory timeframe and did not provide any extenuating circumstances beyond its control as required in 44 CFR §206.202(f)(2).
CDI submitted its second appeal in a letter dated December 30, 2008. CDI reiterated that its late RPA application resulted from a reasonable misunderstanding of the instructions of a Cal EMA PAC. CDI stated that FEMAs denial of its first appeal was capricious and arbitrary because it did not address the legal, equitable and factual issues raised by CDI that show the de minimis tardiness should be excused and FEMA should approve the late RPA submission. CDI provided staff declarations outlining the instructions that it received from a Cal EMA PAC to support that its mistake and detrimental reliance was reasonable under the circumstances.
FEMA has noted that the Cal EMA website included information regarding the RPA process and all applicable deadlines. Cal EMA also provided RPA application information at multiple Applicants Briefings. This provided sufficient access to all potential applicants.
Issues: Has CDI provided information to support submitting its RPA after the regulatory application deadline?