PA ID# 045-30850-00; City of Greenville
PW ID# 244; OIG Audit Report DA-10-17
Citation: FEMA-1625-DR-SC, City of Greenville, OIG Audit
Cross-Reference: Debris removal, OIG Audit
Summary: A December 2005 ice storm resulted in over 20 thousand tons of vegetative debris throughout Greenville, South Carolina. FEMA reimbursed the City of Greenville (Applicant) the federal share of $2,256,466 in debris removal costs. After project closeout, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit of the Applicant’s disaster related expenses and questioned $98,774 of the awarded funding. As a result, FEMA Region IV de-obligated $82,615 from PW 244. The Applicant requests that FEMA reinstate funding for the following items identified in OIG Audit Report DA-10-17: Unapplied credit–both FEMA and the Greater Greenville Sanitation Commission reimbursed the Applicant $74,655 for eligible debris removal costs, resulting in duplication of benefits; Duplicate costs–the Applicant claimed invoiced cost of $4,724 twice; and Math errors–an incorrect hourly rate was used for equipment resulting in an overpayment of $3,236. In the first appeal, the Applicant stated that it had relied on FEMA to properly process the PW and make the necessary adjustments to the PW’s cost estimate. Further, the Applicant stated that its staff was overwhelmed with managing the ice storm and sheltering Katrina survivors, and that the processing of its application was complicated by FEMA staff turnover. The Regional Administrator denied the appeal, stating that the Applicant did not directly dispute the OIG findings or FEMA’s denial of funding, but instead requested “due consideration and forgiveness”. The response to the first appeal noted Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR) §13.52(a) Collection of amounts due, requires that “any funds paid to a grantee in excess of the amount to which the grantee is finally determined to be entitled under the terms of the award constitutes a debt to the Federal Government.” As the funded amount was in excess of the eligible amount, FEMA was required to recoup the excess costs by de-obligating the funds. In the second appeal, the Applicant reiterates its argument from the first appeal and does not provide any additional documentation.
Issue: Has the Applicant demonstrated that the debris removal costs questioned by the OIG and de-obligated by FEMA Region IV are eligible for reimbursement?
Rationale: Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Section 312(a) Duplication of Benefits; 44 CFR §206.203(c)(1), Federal grant assistance, Project funding-(1) Large projects and §13.52(a) Collection of amounts due