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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 037-52004-00; Nashville-Davidson
PW ID# 3551, 4654, 5540 ; OIG Audit – Reasonable Costs – Support Documentation
During the incident period of April 30 through May 18, 2010, severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, and tornadoes caused damage throughout the Applicant’s jurisdiction. As part of emergency protective measures, the Applicant used force account labor and equipment to patrol flooded and vacant areas. FEMA reimbursed the Applicant using the hourly rate for the hours documented for this project. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) questioned costs obligated and found that the use of the hourly rate was unreasonable based on the documentation available. On first appeal the Applicant argued that police vehicles contain electronic equipment that must remain running to complete job duties and that Stafford Act § 705(c) bars FEMA’s recovery of the funds. The Applicant provided a complete log of the hours police vehicles were used during the emergency period. On first appeal, FEMA found that the Applicant did not substantiate with enough specificity that the use of the hourly rate was reasonable and as such Stafford Act § 705(c) would not bar recovery. On second appeal, the Applicant again argued the importance of having police vehicles running during a shift and that it relied on FEMA’s assurances that the hourly rate was reasonable.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- Stafford Act § 705(c).
- 2 C.F.R. pt. 225, app. A § C.1.a.-j.
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.228(a)(1).
- PA Guide, at 34, 48.
- OMB Circular A-87 requires that for a cost to be allowable and therefore reimbursable, under a PA award, the cost must be, among other requirements, reasonable and adequately documented.
- The Applicant provided a complete record of hourly vehicle usage to substantiate that FEMA’s hourly rate for use of police vehicles was reasonable.
The Applicant has provided documentation to demonstrate that FEMA’s hourly rate for the use of police vehicles was reasonable in this case. Accordingly, the appeal is granted.