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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

OIG: FEMA’s Management of Mission Assignments to Other Federal Agencies Needs Improvement

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) used mission assignments (MA) — work orders to complete specific tasks — to provide pandemic funding to Federal agencies in support of the national COVID-19 response. As of March 9, 2022, FEMA approved 1,756 MAs, obligating more than $8.3 billion in funding.

An Office of Inspector General audit has found that although FEMA processed and obligated funds timely to other Federal agencies (OFA), it did not provide sufficient oversight to ensure OFAs used pandemic funding as required. Specifically, OIG found that FEMA did not develop detailed cost estimates when initially establishing MAs, validate unliquidated and open obligations throughout the MA lifecycle, and verify cost eligibility against Public Assistance guidance before closing the MA. 

OIG said two key factors contributed to FEMA’s inability to ensure OFAs used pandemic funding as required. First, FEMA officials followed unofficial processes rather than FEMA’s Mission Assignment Guide, which contains required oversight procedures. Second, FEMA’s Closeout Team did not have sufficient staffing to follow up when OFAs did not provide required unliquidated and open obligation data. 

As a result, OIG concluded that FEMA does not have adequate visibility into how OFAs ultimately used more than $8.3 billion in obligated funds for COVID-19 MAs and the watchdog is questioning as unsupported more than $103 million FEMA reimbursed to OFAs without sufficient documentation to determine eligibility. 

OIG has made four recommendations, including the creation of a risk-based process for reviewing documentation that supports mission assignment expenditures and applying this process to COVID-19 mission assignments to ensure eligibility of claimed costs. FEMA concurred with the recommendations.

Read the full report at OIG

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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