Summary: On October 5, 1996, Damage Survey Report (DSR) 60079 obligated $78,539 to cover the regular time, overtime, benefits and travel expenses of Florida mutual aid personnel who assisted the State of North Carolina in response to Hurricane Fran. These personnel provided technical assistance and completed tasks normally performed by State employees, including writing DSRs and conducting site inspections. On November 13, 1997, DSR 36860 deobligated $45,963 in funds associated with overtime and travel expenses for these personnel. FEMA determined that because Florida mutual aid personnel performed work on behalf of the grantee, the overtime and travel costs are covered under the administrative allowance, pursuant to 44 CFR 206.228(2)(i). The State first appealed on March 13, 1998, claiming that Florida mutual aid personnel are not State employees as defined by the Stafford Act and applicable regulations; therefore, the overtime and travel costs are eligible, according to 44 CFR 13.22(b). The appeal was denied based on FEMA's consistent interpretation that all State resources and contractors used to perform the specific duties listed in 44 CFR 206.228(2)(i) fall under the grantee's administrative allowance. The State submitted its second appeal on December 3, 1998.
Issues: 1) Should overtime and travel costs of mutual aid personnel performing duties normally assigned to State personnel covered by the State's administrative allowance?
Findings: 1) Yes. However, in this case the State of North Carolina asked FEMA whether the costs associated with using mutual aid personnel from the State of Florida would be eligible. FEMA's response did not distinguish between emergency work and grants administration work. Therefore, in this case only, FEMA will reimburse these costs.