Conclusion: The Cameron Parish School Board’s (Applicant) requested costs are (1) associated with work performed outside the approved scope of work (SOW) without the required prior approval, and (2) not adequately documented as being allocable to PW 2869 or satisfying the criteria for eligible project management activities. Accordingly, the Applicant’s second appeal is denied.
On September 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita damaged a high school operated by the Applicant. In 2016, FEMA approved the last version of this project, PW 2869 (Version 6), obligating $105,690.08. In response, the Applicant filed a first appeal, requesting FEMA reimburse additional costs not captured in PW 2869 (Version 6) that were associated with work performed by various contractors. The FEMA Region VI Regional Administrator denied the appeal and the requested $136,855.70 in costs, determining that (1) the work performed by five of the eight contractors, Bayou Locksmith, Mire Painting and Sandblasting, Teacher’s Pet, Siemens, and Hoffpauir Architects, LLC, was completed either outside the approved SOW or outside the project performance period, without the required prior approval, (2) the Applicant neither provided supporting detailed documentation concerning the project management costs for Hoffpauir Architects, LLC, nor were the costs previously identified in any prior version of the PW, and (3) FEMA approved costs associated with two of the three remaining contractors, Sam Istre Construction and Gunter Construction, in prior versions of PW 2869, and approved costs associated with the last contractor, Bessette Development, in PW 2819. On second appeal, the Applicant reiterates its request for reimbursement of costs associated with work performed by Bayou Locksmith, Mire Painting and Sandblasting, Teacher’s Pet, Siemens, and Hoffpauir Architects, LLC; and additionally, submits new documentation pertaining to its claim for project management costs.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- Stafford Act § 406(e).
- 2 C.F.R. § 225 app. A (C)(1)(b), (j).
- 44 C.F.R. §§ 13.30(c)(2), (d)(1), 206.206(a).
- Public Assistance Program Appeal Procedures, Version 4, at 14.
- DAP 9525.6, Project Supervision and Mgmt. Costs of Subgrantees, at 2-3.
- PA Guide, at 68, 115.
- Franklin Cty., FEMA-4230-DR-KS, at 5; Clarksville Gas and Water, FEMA-1909-DR-TN, at 7; City of Sweetwater, FEMA-1345-DR-FL, at 3; Village of Warwick, FEMA-4020-DR-NY, at 5; Chambers Cty., FEMA-1791-DR-TX, at 7; Pearl River Cty. Bd. of Supervisors, FEMA-1604-DR-MS, at 2.
- Pursuant to 44 C.F.R. § 13.30(c)(2) and (d)(1), applicants must obtain prior approval from FEMA whenever there is a budget revision which would result in the need for additional funds or a revision to the scope of a project.
- The work performed by Bayou Locksmith, Mire Painting and Sandblasting, Teacher’s Pet, and Siemens, was performed outside the approved SOW, which resulted in increased costs, without prior approval.
- 2 C.F.R. § 225, Appendix A(C)(1)(b) requires that allowable costs be allocable to specific PWs.
- The Applicant concedes the breakdown of costs in the Siemens’ invoices cannot be exactly determined, but assumes 50 percent of the costs would be attributable to this PW and 50 percent to another PW for a different school. As the documentation does not demonstrate that the claimed Siemens’ costs are allocable to PW 2869, they are denied.
- According to 2 C.F.R. § 225, Appendix A(C)(1)(j), allowable costs must be adequately documented. Further, Public Assistance Program Appeal Procedures, Version 4, at 14, states the administrative record closes after issuance of the first appeal decision.
- Because the description of work contained within the administrative record is limited to a general SOW summary of “project management,” the Applicant has not substantiated eligible project management costs.