Appeal Brief | Appeal Letter | Back
Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 033-04429-00; Escambia County Sheriff Office
PW ID# 1041 and 1123; Force account equipment costs
February 14, 2012
Florida Division of Emergency Management
2555 Shumard Oak Boulevard
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2100
Re: Second Appeal-Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, PA ID 033-04429-00, Force account equipment costs, FEMA-1551-DR-FL, Project Worksheets (PW) 1041 and 1123
Dear Mr. Koon:
This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated March 4, 2011, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of funding in the amount of $543,840 for force account equipment costs.
In 2004, Hurricane Ivan caused widespread damage in Florida. FEMA prepared PW 1041 for $2,111,837 and PW 1123 for $1,028,639 for the cost of emergency protective measures provided by the Applicant. An additional $310,200 and $543, 840 were obligated to PWs 1041 and 1123, respectively, to include equipment costs that were not included in the initial PW formulation. Based on a review of the Applicant’s documentation at final inspection, FEMA reduced the eligible costs for PW 1041 and PW 1123 by $764,499 and $643,195, respectively. On April 30, 2009, the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued the results of an audit of the Applicant’s Hurricane Ivan disaster related costs. The report recommended that FEMA disallow costs for which the Applicant could not provide adequate documentation. As stated in the OIG audit report, the Applicant did not maintain vehicle usage hours or employee activity reports.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on December 30, 2009, requesting funding of $310,200 for PW 1041 and $543, 840 for PW 1123. In response to the Applicant’s first appeal, FEMA approved the costs claimed for the period of September 19, 2004 through September 30, 2004, in the amount of $310,200 for PW 1041. The Regional Administrator determined that it was reasonable that the Applicant’s force account equipment was used for the majority of this time in the execution of eligible emergency protective measures. However, with regard to PW 1123, it could not be reasonably concluded that the force account equipment used for the period of October 1 through October 30 was used primarily for work associated with eligible emergency work and these costs were found to be ineligible.
On September 29, 2010, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (State) forwarded a second appeal for PW 1123 requesting approval of funding in the amount of $543,840. On March 4, 2011, The State forwarded additional documentation in support of the second appeal. In support of the request for approval of the funding, the Applicant provided approximately 1,000 pages of news articles documenting activities performed by the law enforcement officials beyond September 30, 2004.
FEMA regulations at 44 CFR §13.20(b)(6), Source Documentation, state that, “Accounting records must be supported by such source documentation as cancelled checks, paid bills, payrolls, time and attendance records, contract and subgrant award documents, etc.” The documentation provided by the Applicant in the form of newspaper articles failed to include any of the source documentation referenced above. Without sufficient documentation of the costs, it is not possible to assess eligibility for the costs requested. Accordingly, the reimbursement of PW 1123 for force account equipment costs has not been adequately supported through proper source documentation and is therefore not eligible for Public Assistance funding.
I have reviewed all of the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Regional Administrator’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance regulations and policy. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination constitutes the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals. Sincerely,
cc: Major P. May
FEMA Region IV