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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 000-92006; California Highway Patrol
DSR ID# 16295, 19441; Backfill Overtime Labor and Vehicle Costs
FEMA-942-DR-CA; California Highway Patrol; DSRs 16295, 19441
Force Account Labor Costs
FEMA prepared DSR 16295 for $3,427,606, to reimburse California Highway Patrol (CHP) 50% of the estimated costs for personnel, equipment, and contract services incurred as a result of the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992. DSR 16295 was supplemented with DSR 17469 for $ 3,970,043. Upon final inspection, FEMA applied a net adjustment, providing an additional $8,278 with DSR 39012.
An audit by the California State Controller’s Office (SCO) recommended deobligation of $549,715 for straight time backfill labor and vehicle mileage costs, stating that these costs would have been incurred by CHP regardless of the declared event. FEMA concurred with these findings and deobligated $549,715 with DSR 91768. In 1998, an audit by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recommended deobligation of $995,943 in overtime backfill labor costs and $162,923 for associated vehicle mileage costs. FEMA approved DSR 19441 and deobligated $1,158,866, reducing the total project funding to $5,697,346.
California’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) supported CHP’s first appeal and claimed that backfill overtime costs are eligible for federal disaster funding because they are the result of the disaster. OES cited a November 19, 1993, memorandum from Laurence W. Zensinger, which stated that “If the backup is a regular employee… who is working his normal shift, there is no extra cost. Only overtime is eligible.” In response to the first appeal, the Regional Director (RD) stated that the decision to deobligate the funds was consistent with statute and regulation pursuant to Title 44 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) § 206.223(a)(1) and (2). The RD maintained that the 1993 memorandum was “a restatement of the policy that costs for salaries, which would be incurred whether or not the disaster occurred, are ineligible.” In the second appeal, OES and CHP reiterate that the November 19, 1993, memorandum explicitly states that overtime labor costs for backfill employees is eligible for reimbursement.
Are the costs of overtime labor for backfill employees and the associated vehicle mileage costs eligible for reimbursement under FEMA-942-DR-CA?
No, the 1993 memo on the eligibility of force account labor costs was not retroactive and does not apply to this disaster declared in 1992.
44 CFR § 206.223(a)(1) & (2)