Appeal Brief | Appeal Letter | Back
Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 045-02226-00; St. Stanislaus College Preparatory School
PW ID# 10291, 10332 and 10695; Lodging Costs
Citation: FEMA-1604-DR-MS, St. Stanislaus College Preparatory School, Lodging Costs, Project Worksheets (PW) 10291, 10332 and 10695
Summary: Hurricane Katina caused extensive damage to the St. Stanislaus College Preparatory School’s (Applicant) campus. FEMA prepared PW 10291 for emergency protective measures, PW 10695 for debris removal work, and PW 10332 for permanent repairs to the Applicant’s baseball stadium. The Applicant entered into a time and materials contract with Belfor USA (Belfor) to perform the work. Following an audit by the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), the OIG recommended that FEMA conduct a 100 percent review of Belfor’s invoices to determine reasonable costs. Subsequently, FEMA reviewed PWs 10291, 10695, and 10332. This resulted in a de-obligation of vendor costs including lodging and meals that were not documented.
In its first appeal, the Applicant requested that FEMA reimburse a $95 per diem rate ($30 for food and $65 for lodging) as reasonable costs. The Regional Administrator partially granted the appeal and determined that meal costs did not require documentation per Federal government per diem policy. FEMA was unable to verify the length of time and the number of employees who utilized lodging in support of the disaster-related work and, consequently, denied the lodging costs.
In its second appeal, the Applicant reiterates that its request for lodging costs is reasonable. Applicants must provide source documentation to support accounting records in accordance with 44 CFR §13.20(b)(6) Standards for financial management systems. Source Documentation. Costs must be documented by records, such as invoices or receipts prepared by the applicant. The Applicant agreed to a daily rate for lodging costs with Belfor that matched the GSA maximum lodging rate for that location and time period. Additionally, Belfor has certified that it only charged for lodging per employee if lodging was actually incurred.
Issues: 1. Did the Applicant provide documentation to support the contractor lodging costs?
2. Are the contractor lodging costs eligible for Public Assistance?
Findings: 1. Yes.
Rationale: 44 CFR §13.20(b)(6) Standards for financial management systems. Source documentation