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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 000-U6H58-00; Office of Youth Development
PW ID# 5212; Force Account Equipment Cost
June 4, 2012
Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
7667 Independence Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Re: Second Appeal–Louisiana Office of Youth Development, PA ID 000-U6H58-00, Force Account Equipment Cost, FEMA-1786-DR-LA, Project Worksheet (PW) 5212
Dear Mr. Davis:
This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated August 19, 2011, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Louisiana Office of Youth Development (Applicant). The Applicant appealed the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) decision to deny funding for additional force account equipment costs the Applicant incurred in the evacuation and care of youth offenders in response to Hurricane Gustav. The Applicant requested reimbursement in the amount of $14,278, and subsequently reduced the requested appeal amount to $6,754.
In response to Hurricane Gustav, the Applicant evacuated 126 non-custody youth offenders from seven parish detention centers that were threatened by the hurricane and housed them at several Louisiana receiving facilities until the evacuated detention centers became operational again. The youth offenders are considered “at risk” juveniles that need 24-hour security supervision so it was necessary for staff to remain with the youth at all times. PW 5212 included $43,218 for force account equipment which was reduced to $28,940 because FEMA determined that $14,278 of that amount was increased operating cost, which is not eligible for reimbursement. FEMA also denied $236,674 of force account labor overtime that included charges for security coverage of juvenile offenders, cooking, laundry and administrative functions, as those expenses were considered increased operating costs. PW 5212 was obligated in the amount of $486,758: $451,822 for force account labor overtime, $28,940 for force account equipment costs, and $5,996 for direct administrative costs.
In its first appeal dated April 27, 2010, the Applicant stated that the eligibility analysis provided by FEMA was performed incorrectly and requested that the $236,674 of force account labor costs be reimbursed. The Applicant explained that the overtime cost resulted from its requirement to evacuate, transport, and shelter “non-residents” who were not part of its normal population of youth offenders.
On January 7, 2011, the Regional Administrator determined that the entire amount ($236,674) was an eligible force account labor cost, not an increased operating cost, and approved the first appeal. The Applicant submitted a first appeal addendum on November 15, 2010, requesting an additional $14,278 for force account equipment costs. This was forwarded to FEMA by the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) on January 27, 2011, after the first appeal decision letter was signed. On April 18, 2011, FEMA informed the State that it could not accept the addendum letter as another first appeal for the same PW and recommended that the Applicant submit a second appeal for PW 5212.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on June 21, 2011, which the State transmitted to FEMA on August 19, 2011. The Applicant states that based on FEMA’s first appeal reasoning that the $236,674 for force account labor was not an increased operating cost, then the mileage incurred in the evacuation and temporary care of the juveniles was also not an increased operating cost. The Applicant requests an additional $14,278 for force account equipment costs. The supporting documentation provided includes copies of force account equipment records and a copy of the Hurricane Gustav mileage log. However, the Applicant did not itemize the costs that make up the appeal amount of $14,278.
On December 15, 2011, FEMA Headquarters requested information from the Applicant regarding the second appeal support documentation. The Applicant was asked to identify what line items in the force account equipment records and mileage log are being appealed that make up the $14,278; to translate the acronyms on the mileage log for the start and end points of each trip; to expand on the reason for the trips and how the trips relate to the disaster; and to specify whether travel was one-way or round-trip.
In response to FEMA’s request, on December 28, 2011, the Applicant submitted a spreadsheet and mileage logs that identified the specific force account equipment costs being appealed, and also provided a partial list of acronyms to identify the start and end points of each trip. However, the Applicant did not fully expand on how each trip relates to the disaster and did not identify whether each mileage log entry was one-way or round trip travel. In a letter dated January 12, 2012, the Applicant reduced the requested second appeal amount from $14,278 to $6,754.
Pursuant to 44 CFR §206.225(a)(3)(i), Emergency work, costs relating to transporting juveniles to detention centers, to court appearances and hospitals, as well as transportation costs of staff to detention centers that provided additional security and supervision of the juveniles are eligible for reimbursement as emergency protective measures. Additionally, Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9523.15, Eligible Costs Related to Evacuations and Sheltering, states that the use of applicant-owned equipment (such as buses or other vehicles) to provide eligible evacuation or sheltering support is an eligible emergency protective measure.
FEMA reviewed the documentation submitted by the Applicant and determined that entries in the mileage logs not specifically related to the evacuation or sheltering of the youth offenders are not eligible for reimbursement. For example, equipment used for travel relating to food stamp programs or cleaning kitchen appliances were not considered emergency protective measures. Further, any entries on the mileage logs that did not specify round-trip travel were computed as one-way and where the trip purpose was ambiguous or the trip start and end points could not be identified, the cost was considered ineligible for reimbursement. Based on these criteria, FEMA has determined that $2,896 of the requested $6,754 force account equipment cost is eligible for Public Assistance funding.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Applicant’s appeal should be granted in part. The costs incurred for force account equipment are eligible emergency protective measures and not increased operating costs. Accordingly, I am partially granting the second appeal for an additional $2,896 under PW 5212 for the eligible costs incurred in the evacuation and temporary care of the youth offenders. By copy of this letter, I am requesting that the Regional Administrator take appropriate actions to implement this determination.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
Elizabeth A. Zimmerman
Deputy Associate Administrator
Office of Response and Recovery
cc: Tony Robinson
Acting Regional Administrator
FEMA Region VI