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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 086-USM83-00; Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami
PW ID# (PW) 1354 ; Appeal Timeliness, 705(C), Private Nonprofit
Conclusion: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami’s (Applicant) first appeal was untimely. Asthe Applicant exhausted its appeal rights, the policy implementing Stafford Act Section 705(c) does not apply. Section 705(c) also does not apply to Private Nonprofits. Accordingly, the appeal is denied.
In August 2005, winds and wind-driven rainwater from Hurricane Katrina severely damaged La Salle High School, a Private Nonprofit (PNP) owned and operated by the Applicant. FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 1354 to document the damage to five buildings on the school’s campus (Facilities). FEMA subsequently deobligated funding associated with a cost underrun and due to the Applicant receiving Public Assistance previously (the high school was damaged in a previously declared disaster (Hurricane Andrew)). The Applicant appealed and claimed FEMA erroneously found that the Applicant’s insurance coverage for the Facilities did not satisfy the Agency’s obtain and maintain policy. The Applicant also asserts Stafford Act § 705(c) bars FEMA from deobligating funding. The Regional Administrator denied the appeal, determining the appeal was untimely and § 705(c), as implemented by policy, does not apply when an applicant has exhausted its appeal rights. The Applicant appeals the RA’s decision and contends it complied with FEMA’s obtain and maintain requirement for insurance and no regulations exist to justify a reduction beyond the insurance proceeds. In response to the RA’s decision that its appeal was untimely, the Applicant notes that no reduction was warranted in the first place and after months of pursuing clarification, it then submitted its appeal.
Authorities and Second Appeals
Stafford Act §§ 423, 705(c).
44 C.F.R. § 206.206(c).
Palisades Med. Ctr., FEMA-4086-DR-NJ, at 4 (Mar. 10, 2017).
City of Lake Mary, FEMA-1539-DR-FL, at 3 (Aug. 31, 2015).
Stafford Act § 423(a), as implemented by 44 C.F.R. § 206.206(c)(1), allows an applicant to appeal any Public Assistance determination within 60 days of receiving notice of the appealable action.
Stafford Act § 705(c) prohibits FEMA from deobligating funding where it was authorized by an approved agreement, the associated costs were reasonable, and the purpose of the grant was accomplished.
FEMA issued Recovery Policy FP-205-081-2, Stafford Act Section 705, Disaster Grant Closeout Procedures, to implement these criteria. Per the policy, all three criteria of Section 705(c) must be satisfied for the prohibition on deobligation of funds to apply. This policy, however, does not apply where appeal rights are exhausted and FEMA has made a final administrative decision.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal past the statutory and regulatory timeframe. FEMA’s prior eligibility determination is therefore the final administrative action and its guidance implementing Stafford Act Section 705(c) is inapplicable.
Section 705(c) also does not apply to PNPs.