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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 113-99113-00; Linn County
PW ID# 1763-DR-IA; Direct Administrative Costs
Citation: FEMA-1763-DR-IA, Linn County, Direct Administrative Costs, Project Worksheet (PW) 5856
Cross- Reference: Administrative Costs, Reasonable Cost
Summary: Severe storms and flooding beginning on May 25, 2008, caused severe damage in Linn County (Applicant) affecting its courthouse and two other buildings housing essential community services. FEMA prepared PW 5856 in the amount of $189,043 to provide funding for the costs to lease temporary space while the three buildings were repaired. Included in the cost estimate was $5,083 in approved Direct Administrative Costs (DAC). Due to a contract extension, FEMA later adjusted the total eligible cost to $373,004. After the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (Grantee) reviewed the Applicant’s documentation of actual costs, FEMA closed out PW 5856 and decreased the total eligible project cost to $364,383 based on the Grantee’s recommendation. The adjusted total included $3,165 ($1,915 less than previously approved and obligated) in DAC. The Applicant requested an additional $2,502 in DAC; however, FEMA determined that the Applicant’s documentation did not support the eligibility of 1) $2,416 in DAC associated with a consultant’s hourly rate that exceeded $155, and 2) $86 in DAC claimed for travel costs. In the first appeal, the Applicant asserted that both categories of DAC were eligible for reimbursement. In the appeal response, the Regional Administrator noted that the Applicant did not provide the documentation to substantiate the hourly rate above $155 or the travel costs and determined that the claim for $2,502 was ineligible. In the second appeal, the Applicant reiterates that the DAC charged at an hourly rate above $155 is eligible because the protocol used to procure the contract established the rate as a reasonable cost and justified the rate as appropriate for a program manager’s skill level/expertise. The Applicant cites 44 CFR §13.36(b), Procurement, Procurement standards, and OMB Circular A-87, Attachment A, section C, and Attachment B paragraph 32 as supporting its claim regarding the reasonableness of the consultant’s hourly rate. Upon receipt of the second appeal, the Regional Administrator requested additional information to facilitate analysis and transmittal to HQ. The Applicant submitted documentation reiterating the information provided in the 2nd appeal, but did not provide the specific descriptions of the administrative tasks performed that were explicitly requested by FEMA.
Issue: Has the Applicant provided sufficient documentation identifying specific administrative tasks that would enable FEMA to determine whether the claimed Direct Administrative Costs are eligible for reimbursement?
Rationale: 44 CFR §13.36 Procurement, Disaster Assistance Policy 9525.9, Section 324 Management Costs and Direct Administrative Costs