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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 000-U0001-00; Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department
PW ID# (PW) 19 ; Legal Responsibility – 705(c)
Conclusion: The costs in Project Worksheet (PW) 19 are ineligible because the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department (Grantee) did not have a policy prior to the disaster requiring it to provide complimentary meals and refreshments at the state emergency operations center (SEOC). However, because section 705(c) of the Stafford Act prohibits FEMA from recovering the funds, the $48,102.56 deobligated from PW 19 will be re-obligated.
Between May 25 and August 13, 2008, tornadoes struck Iowa, followed by severe thunderstorms and flooding, resulting in a major disaster declaration. In response to the disaster, the Grantee activated its SEOC. FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 19 to address costs associated with operating the SEOC, including providing meals to individuals working there. The Grantee provided documentation for actual costs of $59,691.61 associated with meals and refreshments. In 2010, Region VII’s Grant Business Management Branch reviewed expenditures for meals captured in PW 19 and questioned the eligibility of those costs. Notwithstanding this, FEMA obligated PW 19 Version 2 in 2012 in the amount of $62,000.00. In 2014, FEMA issued a determination memorandum denying all costs, and obligated PW 19 Version 3 for zero dollars. The Grantee filed a first appeal and FEMA Region VII’s Regional Administrator (RA) determined that (1) the meals were not eligible because there was no clear written policy outlining rules for providing meals at the SEOC, (2) the Grantee had not documented everyone who was assigned to the SEOC and what their jobs were, (3) the Grantee failed to establish providing refreshments was necessary, and (4) the Grantee had not demonstrated that all meals purchased could be tied to an eligible individual. The RA also found that section 705(c) of the Stafford Act did not prohibit recovery of the previously obligated funds because the purpose of the grant was not accomplished, the costs were not reasonable, and the Grantee had not provided sufficient documentation regarding eligibility. Nevertheless, the RA re-obligated $11,589.04 for meals that could be tied to signatures of the Grantee’s employees and federal personnel. The Grantee filed a second appeal, arguing that all the costs were eligible and section 705(c) prevented FEMA from recovering funding.
In whichAuthorities and Second Appeals
Stafford Act §§ 403(a), 705(c).
2 C.F.R. pt. 225, app. A § (C)(2).
44 C.F.R. §§ 206.223, 206.225.
FP 205-081-2, Stafford Act Section 705, Disaster Grant Closeout Procedures, at 6-7.
PA Guide, at 44-45, 73.
Palisades Medical Center, FEMA-4086-DR-NJ, at 4.
Northampton County, FEMA-4019-DR-NC, at 2-3.
Twin Valley Elec. Coop., FEMA-1741-DR-KS, at 7.
Off. of Coastal Prot. and Restoration, FEMA-4080-DR-LA, at 9.
Under 44 C.F.R. § 206.223, an item of work must be the legal responsibility of a grantee to be eligible.
Stafford Act section 705(c) bars FEMA from recovering obligated funds if (1) the payment was authorized by an approved agreement specifying the costs, (2) the purpose of the grant was accomplished, and (3) the costs were reasonable.
Section 705(c) prohibits FEMA from recovering previously awarded funding because the payment was authorized by the obligated PW, the purpose of the grant was accomplished, and the costs were reasonable.