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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 091-24475-00; City of Fort Walton Beach
PW ID# 717; Overtime Labor Costs
Citation: FEMA-1595-DR-FL, City of Fort Walton Beach, Overtime – Labor Costs,
Project Worksheet 717
Reference: Labor Costs, Overtime
Summary: On December 8, 2006, PW 717 was obligated for $181,494 to reimburse costs for force account labor overtime ($157,063), force account equipment ($19,561), and purchased materials ($4,870) for emergency protective measures performed as a result of Hurricane Dennis. At project closeout, FEMA determined that employee straight time was paid as overtime and that the City of Fort Walton Beach’s (Applicant) pay policy was discretionary and did not comply with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations. In addition, a generator was misclassified and a mathematical error occurred for the purchased materials. On April 7, 2009, PW 717 was deobligated for $109,480.
In its first appeal, the Applicant acknowledged the mathematical error for purchased materials, that a generator was incorrectly classified, and agreed that a reduction of $4,485 for those items were appropriate. However, the Applicant stated that its labor costs were consistent with its payroll policy and that its pay practices mirrored those in effect since Hurricane Ivan in 2004 where costs identical to those paid by FEMA for that disaster are now being called into question. On August 25, 2010, the Regional Administrator determined that the Applicant did not take steps to modify its written pay policy until two days prior to the major disaster declaration. The Regional Administrator also determined there was no provision in Section 14 of the Applicants Personnel Rules and Regulations Manual to pay overtime to exempt employees, and that the Applicant did not provide documentation to support that it had applied its pay policy uniformly as required by OMB Circular A-87.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on November 3, 2010, and states that it also activated its Emergency Operations Center in November 2009 in preparation for Tropical Storm Ida and paid its staff in accordance with Section 30, Emergency or Disaster Preparedness/Recovery, from its Personnel Rules and Regulations Manual. The Applicant provided copies of Tropical Ida payroll timesheets to support its appeal
Issue: Was the Applicant’s written pay policy in place prior to the disaster?
Rationale: Response and Recovery Policy 9525.7, Labor Costs Emergency Work, 7.D. (July 20, 2000); OMB Circular A-87, A(C)(1)(e), Basic