o Barnes County submitted grant closeout paperwork containing six structures not included in the approved acquisition project application which constituted a change to the approved scope of work (SOW). Approval for these changes was not requested prior to the submittal of closeout paperwork. Because the Grantee did not comply with the regulatory requirement for prior approval, FEMA requested recoupment of the non-compliant costs. Barnes County Commissioners submitted additional information to Region VIII requesting exceptional circumstances consideration as a result of an illness and subsequent demise of an EM staff person during the management of this project.
• Reason for Denial
o Region VIII based the denial of the 1st appeal on the determination that the costs related to the six structures were not approved by FEMA prior to the acquisition activity. Based on this determination, the costs were not in compliance with the requirement that a change in SOW must receive approval prior to any activity related to the change.
o 44 CFR 206.434 Eligibility; 44 CFR 206.440 Appeals, 44 CFR 206.436(d) Application Procedures, 44 CFR Part 13.30 Changes
o The Grantee filed a second appeal through Region VIII, stating that the demise of a county staffer was the primary reason for the lack of formal request for change/approval as well as their request for consideration of the additional properties identified in the closeout documents. The Grantee also stated that all projects met all project eligibility requirements except for being included in the original SOW.
• FEMA Findings
o FEMA HQ denied the 2nd appeal, supporting Region VIII’s decision to deny the 1st appeal.
o Rationale: No new or substantive additional information was provided in support of the 2nd appeal and the six structures were acquired and demolished prior to receiving FEMA approval. It was additionally noted that one structure may have required additional EHP evaluation.
o Reference(s): 44 CFR 206.440 Appeals; 44 CFR 206.434 Eligibility; 44 CFR 206.436(d) Application Procedures, 44 CFR Part 13.30 Changes