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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 083-99083-00; Marion County
PW ID# 917; Force Account Labor
Citation: FEMA-1785-DR-FL, Marion County, Project Worksheet (PW) 917
Reference: Debris Removal, Force Account Labor
Summary: On October 23, 2008, Marion County (Applicant) signed and submitted PW 917, which included force account labor straight-time costs in the amount of $51,209 for debris removal. This cost was eligible under the Public Assistance Pilot (PA Pilot) Program. On January 27, 2009, FEMA approved $121,504 for debris removal activities but denied $51,209 for force account labor straight-time costs. The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007 (The Act) gave FEMA the authority to waive certain regulations and policies to implement the PA Pilot Program. In accordance with section 689j(d) of the Act, no project may be approved under this program after December 31, 2008. Approval, in this context, is defined as being obligated. Therefore, FEMA did not have the authority to reimburse the Applicant for force account labor straight time costs on PW 917.
On June 19, 2009, the Applicant submitted its first appeal. The Applicant argued that the misplacement of the original PW 917 delayed the approval process. The Regional Administrator denied the first appeal on July 8, 2010 on the basis that it did not have the authority to obligate PA Pilot projects after December 31, 2008.
The Grantee submitted a second appeal on behalf of the Applicant on November 22, 2010, requesting that FEMA approve funding in the amount of $51,209 to reimburse force account labor straight time costs associated with debris removal. The Applicant reiterated its previous argument that FEMA’s misplacement of PW 917 caused the PW to be obligated after the December 31, 2008, expiration of the PA Pilot Program.
Issues: 1. Was PW 917 obligated prior to the end of the PA Pilot Program?
2. Did the Applicant submit its request for assistance in PW 917 in a timely manner?
Findings: 1. No.
Rationale: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act, 2007, Public Law 109-295 Section 689j(d); Public Assistance Pilot Program (FEMA 598, June 2007)