Appeal Summary | Appeal Letter | Back
Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 000-92066; California State University, Northridge
DSR ID# 10901 thru 10909, 11591 thru 11595; OIG Audit Findings
Citation: FEMA-1008-DR-CA; California State University, Northridge (CSUN), Various DSRs, OIG Audit Findings
Cross-reference: Eligible Code Upgrades; Damaged Building Elements
Summary: The Northridge Earthquake (FEMA-1008) resulted in significant damages to more than 100 CSUN buildings. FEMA prepared 470 DSRs to fund both emergency work and permanent work projects in the total amount of approximately $371 million dollars. The OIG conducted General Audit W-07-02 and issued a recommendation to deobligate a total of $5,749,940 due to various code compliance issues; stating that (1) the installation of the sprinkler systems were ineligible because there were no codes or standards in effect at the time of the disaster or when the projects were approved requiring that such systems be installed, and (2) that other code compliance upgrades were performed on building elements not specifically damaged by the earthquake. The FEMA Regional Director concurred with the OIG recommendations and approved the deobligation of funds from the listed DSRs. The Applicant waived their right to first appeal and submitted their second appeal to FEMA Headquarters. The Applicant asserts that FEMAs adopted procedures for identifying triggers to determine applicable codes, as documented in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated March 3, 1994, provides the authority to allow retrofitting of the fire sprinklers throughout the buildings. Relative to the code upgrades for building elements found by the OIG audit to not be damaged elements, the Applicant asserts that the elements were damaged or that codes in effect at the time of the disaster require upgrades of the building components in question.
Issues: 1. Are the sprinkler system upgrades eligible?2. Are the other upgrades on the various building elements eligible?
Findings: 1. No. The referenced MOU pertains only to structural damages and repairs, and does not authorize upgrades of non-structural components, such as sprinkler systems. Further, it is found that no local codes or standards were in effect at the time the work was completed that required the installation of sprinkler systems or their upgrades for systems that did not exist prior to the disaster. 2. No. The documentation does not support that certain building elements were damaged by the disaster so as to warrant code upgrades, or for those that were damaged, to conclude that the repair methods and completed upgrades were mandated by the existing codes.
Rationale: 44 CFR 206.226(b)