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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 085-68000-00; City of San Jose
PW ID# 7; Interim Sheltering Costs for Hurricane Katrina Evacuees
September 14, 2012
Mr. Mark Ghilarducci
California Emergency Management Agency
3650 Schriever Avenue
Mather, California 95655
Re: Second Appeal–City of San Jose, PA ID 085-68000-00, Interim Sheltering Costs for Hurricane Katrina Evacuees, FEMA-3248-EM-CA, Project Worksheet 7
Dear Mr. Ghilarducci:
This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated April 4, 2012, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the City of San Jose (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the decision of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deny funding for sheltering expenses for evacuees from Hurricane Katrina in the amount of $243,475.
After Hurricane Katrina, the State of California agreed to accept evacuees from the impacted areas in Louisiana. As part of that effort, the Applicant provided assistance, resources and short-term interim sheltering to the evacuees. On February 26, 2007, FEMA approved Project Worksheet (PW) 7 for actual costs of $27,692 for the provision of affordable housing location services, employment services, and transportation for Hurricane Katrina evacuees. The PW was written as a small project at 40% complete and noted that the Applicant’s contract with the Volunteer Center of Silicon Valley had a not-to-exceed amount of $87,228. On July 19, 2010, the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) forwarded the Applicant’s Final Inspection Report (FIR) to FEMA with a recommendation to limit funding for the project at $27,692 because the Applicant did not request a Net Small Project Overrun within sixty days of completion of the project. In a letter dated August 17, 2010, FEMA identified final eligible funding of $27,692 and noted that it considered the project closed.
On October 22, 2010, the Applicant submitted its first appeal to Cal EMA and requested additional funding in the amount of $410,629 for costs associated with debit cards, furniture
purchases and delivery, and housing rentals. In its appeal, the Applicant asserted that it was not
informed that PW 7 had been approved as a small project. In its transmittal letter to the Regional Administrator, Cal EMA stated that the Applicant had requested funding in the amount of $438,422, with supporting documentation, in a letter dated May 21, 2007. However, Cal EMA further stated that this documentation was not forwarded to FEMA. In response to the first appeal, the Regional Administrator approved PW 7 as a large project and approved additional funding in the amount of $167,154. The Regional Administrator determined that the remaining $243,475 was not eligible due to the lack of supporting documentation, duplication of payments to vendors, and work being performed after the established deadline of March 1, 2006, for Section 403 interim sheltering costs for Hurricane Katrina evacuees.
On February 7, 2012, the Applicant submitted a second appeal to Cal EMA and reiterated its request for funding in the amount of $243,475. The Applicant did not provide new information or supporting documentation for the costs claimed in its second appeal. The Applicant asserted that FEMA did not request additional supporting documentation until December 30, 2010, and that records from several contractors were no longer available. The Applicant also claimed that it was not adequately notified of the deadline for work to be performed related to sheltering of evacuees. Cal EMA does not support the Applicant’s second appeal.
The Applicant states that it was not adequately notified of the deadline for work related to sheltering of evacuees. Cal EMA provided a copy of its letter to the Applicant dated April 12, 2006, forwarding FEMA’s Disaster Specific Guidance (DSG) Conversion of Assistance - 403 to 408 dated March 26, 2006. Further Cal EMA’s letter reiterated, “ that the deadline for the termination of Public Assistance (PA) funded leases was March 31, 2006, and noted that with very few exceptions, FEMA would not reimburse any PA funded leases that extend beyond April 30, 2006.” The deadline of March 1, 2006, for funding costs associated with housing rentals and furniture purchases and delivery under Section 403 interim sheltering was established in Disaster Specific Guidance dated November 14, 2005, Hurricane Katrina and Rita Transitional Housing Strategy. Therefore, the Applicant’s sheltering expenses in the amount of $83,557 incurred after the deadline are not eligible for reimbursement under the PA Program.
On December 29, 2010, FEMA requested invoices to substantiate the claimed costs and eliminate any duplicate claims. The Applicant responded in a letter dated April 7, 2011, stating that records and invoices from several of its contractors were no longer available and therefore, it could not provide the requested information. In accordance with 44 CFR §13.36(i)(11), Procurement, Contract provisions, Applicants must include a provision in their contractual agreements requiring contractors to retain all required records for three years after grantees or subgrantees make final payments. The Applicant submitted its Project Completion and Certification Report to Cal EMA on January 14, 2009. Cal EMA forwarded it to FEMA on July 19, 2010. Applicant expenses totaling $159,918 could not be validated due to insufficient documentation; therefore, these expenses are not eligible for funding under the PA Program.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Regional Administrator’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance regulations and policy. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination constitutes the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
Deputy Associate Administrator
Office of Response and Recovery
cc: Nancy Ward
FEMA Region IX