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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 000-UE8TP-00; Louisiana Department of State
PW ID# 06366; Emergency Protective Measures
Citation: FEMA-1786-DR-LA; Louisiana Department of State, PW 06366
Reference: Emergency Protective Measures
Summary: Hurricane Gustav was declared a major disaster in Louisiana on September 2, 2008. The Applicant postponed the elections scheduled for September 6, 2008 and requested $431,346 for costs incurred to hold the elections on October 4, 2008, which included labor costs for notifying media and others that elections were delayed, meeting costs for the Board of Election Supervisors to re-draw names for commissioners, miscellaneous expenses such as postage, reprinted ballots, and newspaper advertisements announcing date changes. FEMA determined that a total of $35,457 in labor costs associated with rescheduling the election in addition to $448 in associated administrative costs were eligible, as cancelling the election was a temporary emergency communication that eliminated or reduced an immediate threat to life, public health, and safety of the community that would have been traveling to and from polling sites. FEMA determined $395,459 as ineligible, as these costs were determined not to be emergency protective measures performed to eliminate or reduce threats to human life, public health and safety, or prevent damage to public property. FEMA determined these costs to be increased operating expenses, which are not eligible for reimbursement.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on August 19, 2010, requesting $395,459 for costs related to rescheduling the elections because the expenses were associated with providing essential government services eligible under Section 403 of the Stafford Act. The Applicant also asserted that FEMA funded rescheduled elections in other disasters. In a letter dated March 21, 2011, the Regional Administrator denied the appeal because the costs of rescheduling elections cannot be directly tied to the performance of eligible emergency work under the Public Assistance program.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on May 25, 2011, reiterating its original claims in the first appeal. However, the Applicant submitted no additional evidence that activities associated with postponing the elections were directly tied to the performance of eligible emergency work.
Issue: Do the costs associated with conducting rescheduled elections meet the eligibility criteria for Public Assistance?
Rationale: 44 CFR §206.225(a)(3), Emergency Work