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Report to Congressional Committees: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

October 2009: 

Fire Grants: 

FEMA Has Met Most Requirements for Awarding Fire Grants, but Additional 
Actions Would Improve Its Grant Process: 

GAO-10-64: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-10-64, a report to congressional committees. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The Department of Homeland Security, through the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA), awards grants to fire departments and other 
organizations for equipment, staffing, and other needs. As of July 
2009, FEMA had received about 25,000 and 22,000 applications for its 
fiscal years 2007 and 2008 fire grant programs, respectively, and had 
awarded more than 5,000 grants in both years. GAO was congressionally 
directed to review the application and award process for these grants. 
This report addresses the (1) extent to which FEMA has met statutory 
and program requirements for distributing the grant funds; (2) actions 
FEMA has taken to provide assistance to grant applicants and involve 
the fire service community in the grant process; and (3) extent to 
which FEMA has ensured that its grant process is accessible, clear, and 
consistent with requirements, including its grant guidance. GAO 
analyzed relevant laws and interviewed 36 randomly selected grant 
applicants to obtain their views, but the results are not 
generalizable. 

What GAO Found: 

FEMA met seven of eight statutory requirements and two of three FEMA 
established program requirements for distributing fiscal years 2007 and 
2008 grant funds. (GAO used fiscal year 2007 data for two requirements 
because not all fiscal year 2008 funds had been awarded by July 2009.) 
For example, FEMA met the statutory requirement that volunteer and 
combination fire departments (which have both paid and volunteer 
firefighters) collectively receive at least a minimum of 55 percent of 
fiscal year 2008 grant funds, and also met the program requirement that 
volunteer departments receive at least 22 percent. GAO was unable to 
determine whether FEMA met the statutory requirement that at least 3.5 
percent of fiscal year 2008 grant funds be awarded for EMS. FEMA 
reported that its system is not designed to separately track grants 
awarded to fire departments for EMS purposes and, therefore, it could 
not determine if it met this requirement. FEMA reported that while it 
conducted research to determine that it met this requirement for 1 
year, doing so was laborious. Establishing procedures to track awards 
for EMS purposes would allow FEMA to readily determine if it met 
statutory requirements. 

FEMA assists grant applicants by sponsoring workshops and involves 
representatives of the fire service community in establishing criteria 
and reviewing applications. Each year, FEMA convenes leaders of nine 
major fire service organizations to conduct a criteria development 
meeting to develop the program’s criteria and funding priorities. FEMA’
s peer review process—in which members of the fire service 
organizations assess grant applications—also helps ensure that the fire 
service community is involved in the grant process. FEMA officials 
stated that they strive to provide an even chance for as many fire 
departments and other organizations as possible to serve on peer review 
panels. They also stated that they are considering conducting outreach 
efforts to expand peer review participation, such as announcing 
opportunities to serve on an upcoming peer review panel at workshops. 

FEMA has taken actions to ensure that its fire grants award process is 
accessible and clear to grant applicants—28 of 36 applicants GAO 
interviewed found the guidance to be clear—but GAO also identified 
inconsistencies between the stated grant application priorities and the 
application questions and scoring values. For example, the fiscal year 
2008 guidance for the grant that funds the recruitment and retention of 
firefighters states that continuity—maintaining recruitment and 
retention efforts beyond the life of the grant—was a priority for grant 
awards. However, no grant application question addressed this priority 
and the scoring values did not include it. Thus, it is difficult for 
FEMA to ensure that grant funds are awarded in accordance with the 
agency’s funding priorities. Further, four of the nine major fire 
service organizations voiced concerns about feedback FEMA provided to 
rejected applicants, and 22 of the 36 applicants stated that the 
feedback was helpful to little or no extent. FEMA officials stated that 
they could strengthen efforts to improve feedback. Providing specific 
feedback to rejected applicants could help FEMA strengthen future grant 
application processes. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that FEMA, among other things, establish a procedure to 
track Emergency Medical Service (EMS) awards, ensure that grant 
priorities are aligned with application questions and scoring values, 
and provide specific feedback to rejected applicants. DHS agreed with 
GAO’s recommendations. 

View [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-64] or key 
components. For more information, contact William O. Jenkins, Jr. at 
(202) 512-8777 or jenkinswo@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Background: 

FEMA Met Most Statutory and Program Requirements for Distributing 
Grants, but Did Not Fully Track Compliance with One Statutory 
Requirement and Had Not Fully Met One Program Requirement for Fiscal 
Year 2007: 

FEMA Has Taken Actions to Assist Grant Applicants and Involves the Fire 
Service Community in Establishing Grant Criteria and Reviewing Grant 
Applications: 

While FEMA Has Taken Actions to Help Make Its Grant Process More 
Accessible, FEMA Could Benefit from Improved Clarity and Consistency of 
Grant Guidance and Better Controls over the Process for Reviewing and 
Approving Grant Guidance: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments: 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Statutory Requirements for Fire Grants: 

Appendix III: Mission, Membership, and Description of Fire Service 
Organizations: 

Appendix IV: Application and Award Process for Fire Grants: 

Appendix V: AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Applicants and Award Distribution by 
State: 

Appendix VI: Distribution of AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Awards by Department 
Type, Fiscal Years 2002 through 2008: 

Appendix VII: Distribution of AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Awards by Community 
Service Area, Fiscal Years 2002 through 2008: 

Appendix VIII: Distribution of AFG Awards by Activity, Fiscal Years 
2002 through 2008: 

Appendix IX: Distribution of AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Awards and Funding by 
Department Type: 

Appendix X: Distribution of AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Awards and Funding by 
Community Service Area: 

Appendix XI: Fire Grant Applicants in Nonprobability Sample: 

Appendix XII: Time Frames for the Fiscal Year 2008 Fire Grants Process: 

Appendix XIII: Unsuccessful AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Applicants by 
Department Type and Community Service Area: 

Appendix XIV: Comments from the Department of Homeland Security: 

Appendix XV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Appropriations for AFG and SAFER, Fiscal Years 2001 through 
2009: 

Table 2: Total Number of Fire Grant Applications and Awards by 
Activity: 

Table 3: GAO Assessment of Whether FEMA Met Statutory and Program 
Requirements for Distributing Fire Grant Funds, Fiscal Year 2008: 

Table 4: GAO Assessment of Whether FEMA Requested That AFG and FP&S 
Applicants Submit Statutorily Required Information with Their Grant 
Applications, Fiscal Year 2008: 

Table 5: GAO Assessment of Whether FEMA Requested That SAFER Applicants 
Submit Statutorily Required Information with Their Grant Applications, 
Fiscal Year 2008: 

Table 6: AFG, FP&S, and SAFER Statutory Requirements: 

Table 7: Mission, Membership, and Description of Fire Service 
Organizations: 

Table 8: AFG Applicants and Award Breakdown by State for Fiscal Year 
2008: 

Table 9: SAFER Applicants and Awards Breakdown by State for Fiscal Year 
2008: 

Table 10: FP&S Applicants and Awards Breakdown by State for Fiscal Year 
2007: 

Table 11: Distribution of AFG Awards by Department Type for Fiscal 
Years 2002 through 2008: 

Table 12: Distribution of SAFER Awards by Department Type for Fiscal 
Years 2005 through 2008: 

Table 13: Distribution of FP&S Awards by Department Type for Fiscal 
Years 2005 through 2007: 

Table 14: Distribution of AFG Awards by Community Service Area for 
Fiscal Years 2002 through 2008: 

Table 15: Distribution of SAFER Awards by Community Service Area for 
Fiscal Years 2005 through 2008: 

Table 16: Distribution of FP&S Awards by Community Service Area for 
Fiscal Years 2005 through 2007: 

Table 17: Distribution of AFG Awards by Activity for Fiscal Years 2002 
through 2008: 

Table 18: Distribution of AFG Awards and Funding by Department Type for 
Fiscal Year 2008: 

Table 19: Distribution of SAFER Grant Awards and Funding by Department 
Type for Fiscal Year 2008: 

Table 20: Distribution of FP&S Awards and Funding by Department Type 
for Fiscal Year 2007: 

Table 21: Distribution of AFG Grant Awards and Funding by Community 
Service Area for Fiscal Year 2008: 

Table 22: Distribution of SAFER Awards and Funding by Community Service 
Area for Fiscal Year 2008: 

Table 23: Distribution of FP&S Awards and Funding by Community Service 
Area for Fiscal Year 2007: 

Table 24: Fire Grant Applicants in Nonprobability Sample: 

Table 25: Breakdown of Unsuccessful AFG Applicants by Department Type 
and Community Service Area for Fiscal Year 2008: 

Table 26: Breakdown of Unsuccessful SAFER Applicants by Department Type 
and Community Service Area for Fiscal Year 2008: 

Table 27: Breakdown of Unsuccessful FP&S Applicants by Department Type 
and Community Service Area for Fiscal Year 2007: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Application and Award Process for Fire Grants: 

Figure 2: National Distribution of Federal Funds for Fire Grant 
Programs, Fiscal Year 2008: 

Figure 3: Minimum Statutory Award Distribution Requirements and Actual 
Amounts FEMA Awarded to Volunteer and Combination Fire Departments 
under the AFG Program from Fiscal Years 2002 through 2008: 

Figure 4: Maximum AFG Program Award Distribution Requirements and 
Actual Awards by Career Departments from Fiscal Years 2002 through 
2008: 

Figure 5: AFG Guidance Requirements and Actual Awards for Volunteer and 
Combination Departments, Fiscal Years 2007 through 2008: 

Figure 6: SAFER Statutory Requirements and Awards by Activity, Fiscal 
Year 2008: 

Figure 7: Grant Guidance Review and Approval Process: 

Figure 8: Time Frames for Fiscal Year 2008 Fire Grants Process: 

Abbreviations: 

AFG: Assistance to Firefighters Grant: 

CFSI: Congressional Fire Services Institute: 

DHS: Department of Homeland Security: 

EMS: emergency medical services: 

FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency: 

FP&S: Fire Prevention and Safety: 

GPD: Grant Programs Directorate: 

IAAI: International Association of Arson Investigators: 

IAFC: International Association of Fire Chiefs: 

IAFF: International Association of Fire Fighters: 

ISFSI: International Society of Fire Services Instructors: 

MOU: memorandum of understanding: 

NAFTD: North American Fire Training Directors: 

NASFM: National Association of State Fire Marshals: 

NFPA: National Fire Protection Association: 

NVFC: National Volunteer Fire Council: 

OMB: Office of Management and Budget: 

R&D: research and development: 

R&R: recruitment and retention: 

SAFER: Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: 

USFA: United States Fire Administration: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

October 30, 2009: 

The Honorable Robert C. Byrd: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable George Voinovich: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on Homeland Security: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable David E. Price: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Harold Rogers: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on Homeland Security: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives: 

In recent decades, the U.S. fire service community has experienced 
changes in the responsibilities of firefighters and in local budget 
allocations for fire departments. While firefighting has traditionally 
been the responsibility of states and local communities, the 
Congressional Research Service and others have reported[Footnote 1] 
that an increase in emergency medical services (EMS) provided by 
firefighters combined with state and local budget shortfalls in the 
1990s led the fire service community to request financial assistance 
from the federal government in areas such as equipment, training, and 
hiring and recruiting and retaining firefighters. Consequently, the 
Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program is in its ninth year, 
with appropriations totaling over $4.8 billion since 2001. According to 
the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA),[Footnote 2] in 2007 an 
estimated 1.1 million firefighters from more than 30,000 fire 
departments protected communities in the United States; of these 
firefighters, 72 percent were volunteers. In 2006, an NFPA assessment 
of the United States fire service stated that it is likely that in 
communities with a population of less than 2,500, 21 percent of fire 
departments would most often fail to deliver the national standard of 
at least four firefighters to respond to fire calls. In addition, the 
assessment recorded that an estimated 60 percent of fire departments 
did not have enough self-contained breathing apparatuses to equip all 
firefighters on a shift, and 49 percent of all fire engines were at 
least 15 years old, which is indicative of a potential need for 
replacements. Fire departments are also increasingly responsible for 
responding to calls unrelated to fire, such as medical emergencies. 
NFPA found that medical aid responses tripled from 1980 to 2007, with 6 
percent of calls to fire departments in 2007 due to actual fires. 

Within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA), Grant Programs Directorate's (GPD) AFG 
Program Office, in consultation with the U.S. Fire Administration 
(USFA), administers the AFG program and two other competitive fire 
grant programs designed to provide assistance to firefighters--the Fire 
Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grant program and the Staffing for 
Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. The purpose 
of the AFG program is to promote the health and safety of the public 
and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards. 
Funding is available for a variety of activities, such as certifying 
fire inspectors, acquiring firefighting or personal protective 
equipment, modifying firefighter facilities, acquiring firefighting 
vehicles, and funding EMS. The FP&S program, which is funded through 
the appropriation for the AFG program, is intended to support both fire 
prevention and safety activities and firefighter safety research and 
development (R&D) activities. The purpose of the SAFER program, which 
includes grants for hiring career firefighters and recruiting and 
retaining volunteer firefighters, is to increase the number of 
firefighters to help communities meet industry minimum standards and 
attain 24-hour staffing. 

This report responds to the accompanying explanatory statement to the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008,[Footnote 3] which mandates that 
we review the application and award process for AFG and SAFER grants. 
Although FEMA implements the AFG and FP&S grant programs separately, 
the two programs are authorized by the same legislation. Consequently, 
we also examined the FP&S grant program in this report. We did not 
assess the results achieved by those applicants receiving grants, as 
this was beyond the scope of our review. Accordingly, this report 
addresses the following questions: 

(1) To what extent has FEMA met statutory and program requirements for 
distributing the grant funds to a variety of applicants and activities? 

(2) What actions has FEMA taken to provide assistance to grant 
applicants and involve the fire service community in the grant process? 

(3) To what extent has FEMA taken actions to help ensure the fire grant 
process and related guidance are accessible, clear, and consistent with 
applicable statutory and program requirements? 

To address the first question, we identified relevant statutory 
requirements from sections 33 and 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and 
Control Act of 1974 (called the Fire Act and the SAFER Act, 
respectively, for purposes of this report). We also identified relevant 
program requirements established in FEMA's grant guidance for the AFG, 
SAFER, and FP&S grant programs, which related to distributing grant 
funds among different categories of activities and applicants.[Footnote 
4] We then compared these statutory and program requirements to FEMA 
grant award data that stratified awards based on the type of fire 
department--volunteer, career, or combination[Footnote 5]--and based on 
the type of activity, such as awards for vehicle acquisitions. We 
reviewed FEMA data from fiscal year 2002, which was when FEMA began 
maintaining electronic fire grant award data.[Footnote 6] At the time 
of our review, FEMA's fire grant award data were current as of July 
2009, at which time the agency was in the process of awarding fiscal 
year 2007 FP&S grants and fiscal year 2008 AFG and SAFER grants. These 
years were the latest for which grants had been awarded at the time of 
our review and for which we were able to determine FEMA's compliance 
with statutory and program funding distribution requirements. We 
analyzed FEMA's annual listings of applications and awards for the AFG 
and FP&S grant programs from fiscal years 2002 through 2008 and SAFER 
grant program from fiscal years 2005[Footnote 7] through 2008 to 
provide descriptive information on a number of other characteristics, 
such as the type of community served by the applicant--urban, suburban, 
or rural. We also determined the number of times that departments have 
applied for and been awarded grants. To assess the reliability of data 
provided by FEMA, we reviewed and discussed the sources of data with 
agency officials. We determined that the data were sufficiently 
reliable for the purposes of this report. 

To address the second question, we collected and reviewed pertinent 
FEMA documents, such as program guidance, as well as observed FEMA's 
fiscal year 2010 criteria development panel process and the fiscal year 
2008 FP&S peer review panel process. We analyzed the procedures that 
FEMA uses to inform applicants about the fire grant programs, including 
the various forms of outreach and the types of assistance that FEMA 
provides to applicants. We obtained and reviewed information pertaining 
to the selection procedures for peer reviewers, who are to 
independently evaluate applications according to established criteria, 
and analyzed the training that they receive. We conducted structured 
interviews with a nonprobability sample of 36 randomly selected grant 
applicants that applied for fiscal year 2008 funding from the AFG and 
SAFER grant programs or fiscal year 2007 funding from the FP&S grant 
program. Although the results of the interviews are not generalizable, 
they provided insights on the perspective of grant applicants. We also 
conducted interviews with officials of FEMA, USFA, and nine fire 
service organizations.[Footnote 8] 

To address the third question, we reviewed FEMA's methods of making its 
grant guidance and the application accessible to potential applicants. 
We also identified statutory requirements pertaining to fire grant 
applications and analyzed FEMA's fiscal year 2008 grant guidance and 
application forms to determine whether they consistently instructed 
applicants to submit statutorily required information. In addition, we 
compared the grant guidance to the application questions and scoring 
matrix to determine the extent to which they were consistent. To 
determine whether FEMA's process for issuing grant guidance had 
adequate controls, we obtained and analyzed information regarding 
approval and issuance of fiscal years 2007 and 2008 program and 
application guidance. We compared the agency's process for documenting 
and monitoring the program guidance approval process with criteria in 
Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government.[Footnote 9] 
We conducted interviews with officials from the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB), DHS, and FEMA to obtain information about the 
approval and issuance of the program and application guidance as well 
as how grant decisions are announced. We analyzed the type of feedback 
provided to unsuccessful grant applicants and determined the 
circumstances under which they may appeal FEMA's grant decisions. 
During our structured interviews with a nonprobability sample of 36 
randomly selected fire grant applicants, we obtained their views 
regarding feedback that FEMA provided. To assess the reliability of 
data provided by DHS and FEMA on the fire grant applicants, review 
criteria, and award procedures, we reviewed and discussed the sources 
of data with agency officials. We determined that the data were 
sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this report. 

We conducted this performance audit from January 2009 through October 
2009 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit 
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 
We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for 
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. Additional 
details on our scope and methodology are contained in appendix I. 

Background: 

Statutory and Program Requirements of the Fire Grant Programs: 

FEMA's fire grant programs are available to a variety of fire 
departments--those composed of volunteer firefighters, career 
firefighters, or a combination thereof. In the case of the AFG program, 
grants also extend to nonaffiliated EMS organizations.[Footnote 10] In 
the case of the FP&S program, grants also extend to local, state, 
national, or community organizations that are not fire departments, 
such as research universities and fire service organizations. The 
statutes authorizing FEMA's fire grant programs specify how funds are 
to be distributed among certain eligible applicants and activities. 

Authority for the AFG and FP&S programs derives from section 33 of the 
Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (Fire Act).[Footnote 
11] The Fire Act requires FEMA to convene an annual meeting of 
individuals who are members of national fire service organizations for 
the purpose of recommending criteria for awarding grants for the next 
fiscal year.[Footnote 12] The act also requires FEMA, in consultation 
with national fire service organizations, to appoint fire service 
personnel to conduct a peer review of the grant applications, the 
results of which FEMA is to consider in awarding the grants.[Footnote 
13] The Fire Act also contains specific grant application requirements. 
In particular, AFG and FP&S grant applicants are statutorily required 
to provide information demonstrating financial need; an analysis of 
costs and benefits resulting from the assistance; a list of other 
sources of federal funding received by the applicant to avoid 
duplicative funding; and an agreement by the applicant to provide 
information during the grant period to the National Fire Incident 
Reporting System, which represents the world's largest national, annual 
database of fire incident information.[Footnote 14] AFG grant 
applicants are subject to an additional evaluation requirement--the 
extent to which the grant would enhance the applicant's daily 
operations and the grant's impact on the protection of lives and 
property.[Footnote 15] 

Section 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 
(SAFER Act) provides the authority for the third fire grant program 
administered by FEMA.[Footnote 16] There are two types of SAFER grants: 
hiring grants, which are open to career, volunteer, and combination 
fire departments, and recruitment and retention grants, which are open 
to volunteer and combination fire departments, or to state or local 
organizations that represent the interests of volunteer 
firefighters.[Footnote 17] Hiring grants are subject to specific cost- 
sharing requirements between the federal government and the grantee, 
with the federal share decreasing over the 4-year grant period. 
[Footnote 18] Furthermore, the grantee is required to commit to 
retaining any firefighter hired through grant funds for at least 1 year 
after federal funding ends, amounting to a 5-year service commitment. 
[Footnote 19] The statutory cost-share and service commitment 
requirements applicable to SAFER hiring grants do not apply to SAFER 
recruitment and retention grants.[Footnote 20] 

SAFER grants, like AFG and FP&S grants, are awarded on a competitive 
basis through a peer review process.[Footnote 21] The SAFER Act is also 
similar to the Fire Act in requiring grant applications to include 
certain types of information. In addition to any information FEMA may 
require applicants to submit, the statute requires applicants to 
provide assurances regarding diversity in hiring; to explain their 
inability to address the need without federal assistance; and to 
specify long-term retention plans after federal funding ends, 
including, for hiring grants, how the applicant plans to meet the 
statute's 5-year service commitment.[Footnote 22] A hiring grant 
applicant is also required to discuss what it will do to ensure that 
its department does not discriminate against firefighters who engage in 
volunteer activities in another jurisdiction during off-duty hours. 
[Footnote 23] The SAFER Act has a statutory sunset of 10 years from the 
date of enactment, such that the agency's authority to make SAFER 
grants will elapse on November 24, 2013.[Footnote 24] (See appendix II 
for a table that sets forth the statutory requirements applicable to 
the AFG, FP&S, and SAFER grant programs). 

Each appropriations act enacted after January 2002 has made fire grant 
appropriations available for 2 fiscal years, after which any 
unobligated funds expire. The Consolidated Security, Disaster 
Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009--which contains the 
fiscal year 2009 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act-- 
provided $775 million for firefighter assistance, including $565 
million for fire grants and $210 million for SAFER grants. Table 1 
shows the AFG and SAFER appropriations beginning with their first 
funded years, fiscal year 2001 and fiscal year 2005, respectively. (The 
FP&S funds are included in the AFG appropriation.) 

Table 1: Appropriations for AFG and SAFER, Fiscal Years 2001 through 
2009 (Dollars in millions): 

Fiscal year: 2001; 
AFG[A]: $100; 
SAFER[B]: N/A. 

Fiscal year: 2002; 
AFG[A]: $360; 
SAFER[B]: N/A. 

Fiscal year: 2003; 
AFG[A]: $745[C]; 
SAFER[B]: N/A. 

Fiscal year: 2004; 
AFG[A]: $746[C]; 
SAFER[B]: N/A. 

Fiscal year: 2005; 
AFG[A]: $650; 
SAFER[B]: $65. 

Fiscal year: 2006; 
AFG[A]: $540[C]; 
SAFER[B]: $109[C]. 

Fiscal year: 2007; 
AFG[A]: $547; 
SAFER[B]: $115. 

Fiscal year: 2008; 
AFG[A]: $560; 
SAFER[B]: $190. 

Fiscal year: 2009; 
AFG[A]: $565; 
SAFER[B]: $210. 

Fiscal year: Total; 
AFG[A]: $4,813; 
SAFER[B]: $689. 

Source: Appropriations acts. 

Legend: N/A = not applicable. 

Note: For fiscal year 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 
Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115, 164 (2009), appropriated an 
additional $210 million for the purpose of awarding competitive grants 
to modify, upgrade, or construct nonfederal fire stations, up to $15 
million per grant. 

[A] FP&S fire grant funding is included in the AFG column and is 
required to be at least 5 percent of the AFG appropriation. 

[B] The SAFER Act was enacted on November 24, 2003. Although the SAFER 
Act authorized appropriations for fiscal year 2004, the first 
appropriation was made in fiscal year 2005. 

[C] This is a rounded figure that we calculated by applying an enacted 
rescission to the appropriation. In fiscal year 2003, a 0.65 percent 
rescission applied to a $750 million AFG appropriation. In fiscal year 
2004, a 0.59 percent rescission applied to a $750 million AFG 
appropriation. In fiscal year 2006, a 1 percent rescission applied to a 
$545 million appropriation for AFG and a $110 million appropriation for 
SAFER. 

[End of table] 

Development of Grant Criteria and Funding Priorities: 

FEMA describes annual funding priorities for the grant programs in its 
grant guidance document, which incorporates recommendations from the 
programs' criteria development panel. The criteria development panel is 
composed of subject matter experts who meet annually for 3 days to 
review and modify the previous year's funding priorities and award 
criteria for all three fire grant programs, and whose recommendations 
are summarized in a report to FEMA.[Footnote 25] Detailed information 
about the mission and purpose of each fire service organization is 
contained in appendix III. The review process for all three grant 
programs includes three evaluation stages: an automated scoring or 
prescreening process to determine eligibility and alignment with the 
grant programs' funding priorities; a peer review panel, in which 
practitioners within the fire service community evaluate and score the 
applications; and a final technical review by subject matter 
specialists, FEMA officials in the AFG Program Office and the Grants 
Management Division, as well as officials in state homeland security 
offices, if applicable. 

The criteria development panel also updates the previous year's scoring 
matrix, which is a confidential, weighted numerical scoring methodology 
that reflects the identified funding priorities.[Footnote 26] The 
scoring matrix is used to rate AFG and SAFER applications by scoring 
the answers to the application questions that are weighted to reflect 
the funding priorities. If applicants request funding for multiple 
activities, each activity is scored independently of the others. The 
activities' scores are then weighted based on the dollar amount and 
combined to determine the application's overall score. 

Following review and discussion of the previous year's information, the 
criteria development panel submits its recommendations on the grant 
criteria and funding priorities--including those on which participants 
do not reach consensus--to the AFG Program Office in the form of a 
report. After incorporating the panel's recommendations and developing 
the grant guidance for the three grant programs, the AFG Program Office 
submits the guidance to other offices within FEMA for internal review. 
Subsequently, it sends the guidance to DHS and OMB for approval. The 
grant review and award process is represented in figure 1. (See 
appendix IV for more detailed information about each of the steps 
involved in the application and award process.) 

Figure 1: Application and Award Process for Fire Grants: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration] 

1. Criteria development panel: 
Makes recommendations for funding priorities and criteria for awarding 
grants. 

2. Guidance development and approval: 
AFG Program Office develops guidance and submits to other offices 
within FEMA, DHS, and OMB for approval. 

3. Application period: 
Grant guidance and application are available online. 

4. Automated scoring and prescreening: 
AFG and SAFER applications are electronically scored; FP&S applications 
are prescreened for eligibility. 

5. Peer review panel: 
Panelists evaluate each application according to established criteria. 

6. Technical review: 
Highly scored applications are reviewed by subject matter experts and 
others. 

Grants awarded: 
Awards are announced over several months; or: 

Grants rejected: 
Rejection letters are sent to unsuccessful applicants. 

Sources: GAO analysis and ArtExplosion (clip art). 

[End of figure] 

Figure 2 shows the distribution of federal funds for the three fire 
grant programs by state for fiscal year 2008. 

Figure 2: National Distribution of Federal Funds for Fire Grant 
Programs, Fiscal Year 2008: 

[Refer to PDF for image: map and associated data] 

Alabama: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $22.3 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $6.4 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $227,665. 

Alaska: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $990,051; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.4 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $13,500. 

Arizona: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $4.3 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $4 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $1.5 million. 

Arkansas: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $6.7 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.9 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $27,345. 

California: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $24.2 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $3.7 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $2.3 million. 

Colorado: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $2.3 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.6 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $289.975. 

Connecticut: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $6.7 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
$949,124; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $191,475. 

Delaware: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $219,989; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
$398,400; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $362,500. 

District of Columbia: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $1.2 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
N/A[A]; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $2.2 million. 

Florida: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $6.6 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $14.7 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $1.5 million. 

Georgia: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $7.7 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $8.9 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $88,543. 

Hawaii: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $772,631; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.6 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: 0. 

Idaho: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $2.4 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
$309,121; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $17,640. 

Illinois: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $20 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.3 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $3 million. 

Indiana: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $12 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $3 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $920,017. 

Iowa: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $8.8 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 0;
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $90,130. 

Kansas: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $3.6 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.5 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $42,583. 

Kentucky: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $16.4 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.3 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $204,859. 

Louisiana: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $6 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $3.7 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $859,596. 

Maine: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $4.5 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
$535,040; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $152,356. 

Maryland: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $5.4 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $3.2 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $4.4 million. 

Massachusetts: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $8.7 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.8 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $1.5 million. 

Michigan: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $14 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
$461,120; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $350,949. 

Minnesota: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $11.8 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
$491,000; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $171,669. 

Mississippi: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $7.5 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
$875,408; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $1.3 million. 

Missouri: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $10.7 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.6 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $1.5 million. 

Montana: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $4 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $2.8 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: 0. 

Nebraska: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $4 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $2 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $64,852. 

Nevada: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $686,657; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 0; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $142,320. 

New Hampshire: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $2.6 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
$8,350; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $23,818. 

New Jersey: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $11.7 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $3.7 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $111,343. 

New Mexico: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $966,542; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
$108,380; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: 0. 

New York: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $28.2 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $3.6 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $1.9 million. 

North Carolina: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $16.8 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $12.4 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $1.4 million. 

North Dakota: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $2.8 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.6 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $8,873. 

Ohio: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $24.7 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $3.5 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $1.3 million. 

Oklahoma: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $6.3 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
$622,624; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $30,660. 

Oregon: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $8 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $2 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $859,015. 

Pennsylvania: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $37.3 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $2.2 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $683,422. 

Rhode Island: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $1.3 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 0; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $147,333. 

South Carolina: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $10.2 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $4.4 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $23,893. 

South Dakota: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $2 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 
$48,000; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $121,670. 

Tennessee: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $15.5 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.2 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $952,790. 

Texas: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $18.4 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $12.6 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $1.3 million. 

Utah: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $909,108; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $3.3 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $11,697; 

Vermont: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $1 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 0; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $12,454. 

Virginia: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $7.7 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $1.4 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $1.4 million. 

Washington: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $11.4 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $6.4 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $97,859. 

West Virginia: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $6.6 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): 0; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $101,280. 

Wisconsin: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $14 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $2.3 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $13,534. 

Wyoming: 
AFG (Assistance to firefighter grants): $1 million; 
SAFER (Staffing for adequate fire and emergency response grants): $2.3 
million; 
FP&S (Fire prevention and safety grants)[B]: $28,788. 

Notes: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 are current as of July 
2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants period closed on September 30, 
2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. State category includes Puerto Rico 
and the District of Columbia. 

[A] No organization from the District of Columbia applied for SAFER 
grants in fiscal year 2008. 

[B] FP&S application and award numbers are for fiscal year 2007 and 
reflect all fiscal year 2007 awards made through July 2009. No fiscal 
year 2008 FP&S grants had been awarded as of July 2009. 

[End of figure] 

As shown in table 2, grant applicants submitted more than 22,000 
applications for the AFG and SAFER grant programs for fiscal year 2008, 
and as of July 2009, FEMA had awarded a total of 5,060 grants. As of 
July 2009, applicants submitted about 2,500 applications for the fiscal 
year 2007 FP&S grants and FEMA had awarded a total of 216 grants. 
[Footnote 27] 

Table 2: Total Number of Fire Grant Applications and Awards by 
Activity: 

Grant: AFG; (fiscal year 2008); 
Activity: Operations and safety; 
Number of applications submitted: 12,591; 
Number of grants awarded: 4,007. 

Grant: AFG; (fiscal year 2008); 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition; 
Number of applications submitted: 7,910; 
Number of grants awarded: 635. 

Grant: AFG; (fiscal year 2008); 
Activity: Regional; 
Number of applications submitted: 521; 
Number of grants awarded: 163. 

Grant: AFG; (fiscal year 2008); 
Activity: AFG total; 
Number of applications submitted: 21,022; 
Number of grants awarded: 4,805. 

Grant: SAFER; (fiscal year 2008); 
Activity: Hiring; 
Number of applications submitted: 741; 
Number of grants awarded: 151. 

Grant: SAFER; (fiscal year 2008); 
Activity: Recruitment and retention; 
Number of applications submitted: 493; 
Number of grants awarded: 92. 

Grant: SAFER; (fiscal year 2008); 
Activity: Recruitment and retention/hiring[A]; 
Number of applications submitted: 80; 
Number of grants awarded: 12. 

Grant: SAFER; (fiscal year 2008); 
Activity: SAFER total; 
Number of applications submitted: 1,314; 
Number of grants awarded: 255. 

Grant: FP&S; (fiscal year 2007)[B]; 
Activity: Fire prevention; 
Number of applications submitted: 2,506; 
Number of grants awarded: 203. 

Grant: FP&S; (fiscal year 2007)[B]; 
Activity: Research and development; 
Number of applications submitted: 38; 
Number of grants awarded: 10. 

Grant: FP&S; (fiscal year 2007)[B]; 
Activity: Research and prevention[C]; 
Number of applications submitted: 17; 
Number of grants awarded: 3. 

Grant: FP&S; (fiscal year 2007)[B]; 
Activity: FP&S total; 
Number of applications submitted: 2,561; 
Number of grants awarded: 216. 

Activity: All programs total; 
Number of applications submitted: 24,897; 
Number of grants awarded: 5,276. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grant data for fiscal year 2008 are current as of July 2009. 
The fiscal year 2008 fire grant period closed on September 30, 2009, 
which is the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] Recruitment and retention/hiring applications are those of 
applicants that submitted requests for both activities in a single 
application. 

[B] FP&S application and award numbers are for fiscal year 2007 funding 
and reflect all fiscal year 2007 awards made through July 2009. No 
fiscal year 2008 FP&S grants had been awarded as of July 2009. 

[C] Research and prevention applications are those of applicants that 
submitted requests for both activities (i.e., R&D and fire prevention) 
in a single application. 

[End of table] 

FEMA Met Most Statutory and Program Requirements for Distributing 
Grants, but Did Not Fully Track Compliance with One Statutory 
Requirement and Had Not Fully Met One Program Requirement for Fiscal 
Year 2007: 

In awarding fiscal year 2008 AFG and SAFER grants and fiscal year 2007 
FP&S grants, FEMA met seven of eight statutory and two of three program 
requirements. These requirements specified how FEMA was to distribute 
appropriated grant funds between different applicants and activities. 
In July 2009, when FEMA provided fire grant award data for our review, 
the agency was in the process of awarding fiscal year 2007 FP&S grants 
and fiscal year 2008 AFG and SAFER grants. These years were the latest 
for which grants had been awarded and for which we were able to 
determine FEMA's compliance with statutory and program funding 
distribution requirements.[Footnote 28] In addition, we used fiscal 
year 2007 data to determine whether FEMA met one statutory and one 
program requirement not yet satisfied for fiscal year 2008 because 
grant award data for fiscal year 2008 were not complete at the time of 
our review. Specifically, we determined that in fiscal year 2007, FEMA 
met the statutory requirement to award at least 5 percent of the AFG 
appropriation for FP&S activities, but did not meet the program 
requirement to award at least 33 percent of the AFG appropriation to 
combination fire departments. We were unable to determine whether FEMA 
met statutorily mandated EMS funding levels related to AFG grants 
because FEMA only captures data for EMS awards to nonaffiliated EMS 
organizations, not EMS awards to fire departments. Table 3 lists the 
statutory and program funding distribution requirements that we 
evaluated and the extent to which FEMA met these requirements. 

Table 3: GAO Assessment of Whether FEMA Met Statutory and Program 
Requirements for Distributing Fire Grant Funds, Fiscal Year 2008: 

Grant program: AFG; 
Requirement: Volunteer and combination fire departments are to receive 
a proportion of the total grant funding that is not less than the 
proportion of the U.S. population protected by those fire departments, 
which FEMA estimated at 55 percent[A]; 
Source: Statute; 
Status: Met. 

Grant program: AFG; 
Requirement: Awards to nonaffiliated EMS organizations shall account 
for not more than 2 percent of appropriation; 
Source: Statute; 
Status: Met[B]. 

Grant program: AFG; 
Requirement: Grants to acquire firefighting vehicles are not to exceed 
25 percent of appropriation; 
Source: Statute; 
Status: Met[B]. 

Grant program: AFG; 
Requirement: A total of $3 million is to be made available for foam 
firefighting equipment; 
Source: Statute; 
Status: Met. 

Grant program: AFG; 
Requirement: EMS awards must account for at least 3.5 percent of 
appropriation; 
Source: Statute; 
Status: Status undetermined; EMS awards not fully tracked. 

Grant program: AFG; 
Requirement: Career fire departments are to receive a proportion of the 
total grant funding that is no more than the proportion of the U.S. 
population they protect, which FEMA estimated at 45 percent[C]; 
Source: Program guidance; 
Status: Met. 

Grant program: AFG; 
Requirement: Volunteer fire departments are to receive a proportion of 
the total grant funding that is not less than the proportion of the 
U.S. population they protect, which FEMA estimated at 22 percent[D]; 
Source: Program guidance; 
Status: Met. 

Grant program: AFG; 
Requirement: Combination fire departments are to receive a proportion 
of the total grant funding that is not less than the proportion of the 
U.S. population they protect, which FEMA estimated at 33 percent[D]; 
Source: Program guidance; 
Status: Not met in fiscal year 2007; Not met for fiscal year 2008, as 
of July 2009[E]. 

Grant program: FP&S; Requirement: FP&S grants must account for at least 
5 percent of the AFG appropriation; 
Source: Statute; 
Status: Met for fiscal year 2007; Not met for fiscal year 2008, as of 
July 2009[F]. 

Grant program: SAFER; 
Requirement: FEMA is to set aside 10 percent of appropriation for 
volunteer fire departments (whole or majority) to compete for SAFER 
hiring grants. FEMA is to transfer any unused funds for the award of 
SAFER recruitment and retention grants; 
Source: Statute; 
Status: Met. 

Grant program: SAFER; 
Requirement: FEMA is to direct at least 10 percent of appropriation for 
volunteer and combination fire departments (and state or local 
organizations representing them) to compete for recruitment and 
retention grants; 
Source: Statute; 
Status: Met. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grant data for fiscal year 2008 are current as of July 2009. 
The fiscal year 2008 fire grant period closed on September 30, 2009, 
which is the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] According to AFG program guidance, NFPA reported that combination 
departments protect 33 percent of the nation's population and volunteer 
departments protect 22 percent. We did not verify FEMA's estimates. 

[B] Because we do not have complete data for the final quarter of 
fiscal year 2009, it is possible that FEMA could exceed the statutory 
cap as a result of fourth quarter awards. However, as of July 2009, 
FEMA was within the cap. 

[C] According to AFG program guidance, NFPA reported that combination 
departments protect 33 percent of the nation's population and volunteer 
departments protect 22 percent, and no more than 45 percent of the 
grant funds may be awarded to career departments. We did not verify 
FEMA's estimates. 

[D] According to AFG program guidance, NFPA reported that combination 
departments protect 33 percent of the nation's population and volunteer 
departments protect 22 percent. We did not verify FEMA's estimates. 

[E] Because we do not have complete data for the final quarter of 
fiscal year 2009, it is possible that FEMA could satisfy the program 
minimum as a result of fourth quarter awards. However, FEMA was unable 
to reach the same program minimum during the fiscal year 2007 AFG grant 
cycle. 

[F] No fiscal year 2008 FP&S grants had been awarded as of July 2009. 
However, FEMA met the statutory minimum for FP&S awards in fiscal year 
2007. 

[End of table] 

As of July 2009, FEMA Had Met Four of Five AFG Statutory Requirements 
for Distributing Fiscal Year 2008 Grants, but Had Not Fully Met One of 
Three Fiscal Year 2008 Program Requirements: 

Although FEMA Met Most AFG Statutory Requirements, It Did Not Fully 
Track EMS Data to Ensure That It Met One Statutory Requirement for 
Fiscal Year 2008: 

FEMA met four of five statutory requirements related to AFG grants for 
fiscal year 2008. First, as shown in figure 3, FEMA has consistently 
met the population-based statutory requirement for awarding fire grants 
to volunteer and combination fire departments from fiscal year 2002 
through July of fiscal year 2008.[Footnote 29] 

Figure 3: Minimum Statutory Award Distribution Requirements and Actual 
Amounts FEMA Awarded to Volunteer and Combination Fire Departments 
under the AFG Program from Fiscal Years 2002 through 2008: 

[Refer to PDF for image: vertical bar and line graph] 

Year: 2002; 
Grant awards: $261 million; 
Guidance minimum: $198 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $360 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 72.51%; 
Target percentage[B]: 55%. 

Year: 2003; 
Grant awards: $581 million; 
Guidance minimum: $402 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $745 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 77.98%; 
Target percentage[B]: 54%. 

Year: 2004; 
Grant awards: $561 million; 
Guidance minimum: $410 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $746 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 75.26%; 
Target percentage[B]: 55%. 

Year: 2005; 
Grant awards: $488 million; 
Guidance minimum: $358 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $650 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 75.14%; 
Target percentage[B]: 55%. 

Year: 2006; 
Grant awards: $426 million; 
Guidance minimum: $297 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $540 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 79.06%; 
Target percentage[B]: 55%. 

Year: 2007; 
Grant awards: $417 million; 
Guidance minimum: $301 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $547 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 76.22%; 
Target percentage[B]: 55%. 

Year: 2008; 
Grant awards: $366 million; 
Guidance minimum: $308 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $560 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 65.33%; 
Target percentage[B]: 55%. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grant data for fiscal year 2008 are current as of July 2009. 
The fiscal year 2008 fire grant period closed on September 30, 2009, 
which is the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] Actual percentage refers to actual awards as a percentage of the 
AFG appropriation. 

[B] Target percentage refers to targeted awards as a percentage of the 
AFG appropriation. 

[End of figure] 

Based on our review of fiscal year 2008 grant data, FEMA also met three 
other statutory funding distribution requirements for the AFG program, 
as identified in table 3.[Footnote 30] Specifically, in fiscal year 
2008, FEMA awarded about $7.3 million (about 1.3 percent) of its $560 
million AFG appropriation to nonaffiliated EMS organizations and about 
$132 million (about 23.5 percent) for vehicle grants, both of which 
fell below the maximum ceilings established by the Fire Act. In 
addition, FEMA awarded about $378,560 of its fiscal year 2008 AFG 
appropriation for foam firefighting equipment. According to a program 
specialist responsible for administering the AFG and SAFER grant 
programs, FEMA granted all requests that were submitted for foam 
firefighting equipment, since the total amount requested was below the 
$3 million FEMA was required to make available for this purpose. Thus, 
in meeting these requirements, FEMA ensured that its grant awards were 
consistent with the funding percentages mandated by statute. 

While FEMA has met four of the Fire Act's requirements for distributing 
grant awards, we were not able to determine whether it complied with 
the statutory requirement of awarding at least 3.5 percent of the 
appropriated AFG grant funds for EMS. Both nonaffiliated EMS 
organizations and fire departments are eligible to compete for EMS 
equipment and training. Although FEMA tracks the amount awarded to 
nonaffiliated EMS organizations (which are eligible for up to 2 percent 
of the appropriation), a program specialist responsible for 
administering the AFG and SAFER grant programs stated that FEMA does 
not track the amount of EMS equipment and training awarded to fire 
departments. He explained that FEMA's internal data system is not 
currently designed to capture this information and that obtaining the 
necessary data would require that FEMA perform laborious tasks, such as 
identifying each item that would qualify as EMS equipment and querying 
grant recipients to determine if any of this equipment funded by the 
AFG program was placed in their EMS vehicles. He stated that FEMA 
performed the research necessary to determine that it met the required 
funding level one year, but he could not provide any supporting 
documentation. However, he acknowledged that there may be alternatives 
for obtaining these data, such as asking applicants to estimate the 
percentage of grant funds that would be used for EMS during the grant 
application process. By developing and implementing a procedure for 
capturing the percentage of appropriated funds awarded to fire 
departments related to EMS equipment and training, FEMA would be better 
positioned to more readily determine if it met the statutory 
requirement that EMS account for at least 3.5 percent of the 
appropriated funds. 

FEMA Met Two AFG Program Requirements and Fell Slightly Short of 
Meeting Another: 

The AFG guidance states that no more than 45 percent of the AFG funds 
may be awarded to career departments.[Footnote 31] As shown in figure 
4, FEMA has consistently met this requirement from fiscal years 2002 
through 2008. 

Figure 4: Maximum AFG Program Award Distribution Requirements and 
Actual Awards by Career Departments from Fiscal Years 2002 through 
2008: 

[Refer to PDF for image: vertical bar and line graph] 

Year: 2002; 
Grant awards: $71 million; 
Guidance minimum: $162 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $360 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 20%; 
Guidance maximum percentage[B]: 45%. 

Year: 2003; 
Grant awards: $118 million; 
Guidance minimum: $343 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $745 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 16%; 
Guidance maximum percentage[B]: 46%. 

Year: 2004; 
Grant awards: $112 million; 
Guidance minimum: $336 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $746 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 15%; 
Guidance maximum percentage[B]: 45%. 

Year: 2005; 
Grant awards: $108 million; 
Guidance minimum: $293 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $650 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 17%; 
Guidance maximum percentage[B]: 45%. 

Year: 2006; 
Grant awards: $58 million; 
Guidance minimum: $243 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $540 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 11%; 
Guidance maximum percentage[B]: 45%. 

Year: 2007; 
Grant awards: $76 million; 
Guidance minimum: $246 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $547 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 14%; 
Guidance maximum percentage[B]: 45%. 

Year: 2008; 
Grant awards: $88 million; 
Guidance minimum: $252 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $560 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 16%; 
Guidance maximum percentage[B]: 45%. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grant data for fiscal year 2008 are current as of July 2009. 
The fiscal year 2008 fire grant period closed on September 30, 2009, 
which is the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] Actual percentage refers to actual awards as a percentage of the 
AFG appropriation. 

[B] Guidance maximum percentage refers to guidance maximum awards as a 
percentage of the AFG appropriation. 

[End of figure] 

According to a program specialist responsible for administering the AFG 
and SAFER grant programs, in fiscal year 2007, OMB instructed the AFG 
Program Office to separate the percentage of funding given to volunteer 
and combination departments in proportion with the population that each 
type of department protects. Thus, FEMA incorporated this requirement 
in its program guidance. Specifically, the AFG 2008 grant guidance 
specified two requirements for FEMA to distribute grant awards: (1) 
volunteer departments are to receive at least 22 percent and (2) 
combination departments are to receive at least 33 percent of the total 
appropriation.[Footnote 32] While FEMA met the requirement to award at 
least 22 percent to volunteer fire departments in fiscal year 2008, it 
had not reached the minimum requirement of awarding at least 33 percent 
to combination departments as of July 2009. Specifically, FEMA awarded 
volunteer departments about 39 percent ($217 million) of its $560 
million in fiscal year 2008 appropriated funds, but only awarded about 
27 percent ($149 million) of its appropriation to combination 
departments. We also analyzed fiscal year 2007 data to determine 
whether FEMA met the requirement related to distributing funds to 
combination departments since the separation between volunteer and 
combination departments occurred. FEMA fell slightly short of meeting 
this program requirement because it awarded combination fire 
departments about 32 percent ($173 million) of the total appropriation 
of fiscal year 2007 grant funds--only 1 percent less than that required 
by program guidance (see figure 5).[Footnote 33] According to a program 
specialist responsible for administering the AFG and SAFER grant 
programs, FEMA attempts to comply with the guidance pertaining to 
population-based proportional grant funding, and he indicated that the 
shortfall in fiscal year 2007 awards to combination fire departments 
may have been an oversight. 

Figure 5: AFG Guidance Requirements and Actual Awards for Volunteer and 
Combination Departments, Fiscal Years 2007 through 2008: 

[Refer to PDF for image: vertical bar graphs] 

Volunteer departments: 

Year: 2007; 
Grant awards: $244 million; 
Guidance minimum: $120 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $547 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 45%; 
Target percentage[B]: 22%. 

Year: 2008; 
Grant awards: $217 million; 
Guidance minimum: $123.6 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $560 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 39%; 
Target percentage[B]: 22%. 

Combination departments: 

Year: 2007; 
Grant awards: $173 million; 
Guidance minimum: $180 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $547 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 32%; 
Target percentage[B]: 33%. 

Year: 2008; 
Grant awards: $149 million; 
Guidance minimum: $184.8 million; 
Total AFG appropriation: $560 million; 
Actual percentage[A]: 27%; 
Target percentage[B]: 33%. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grant data for fiscal year 2008 are current as of July 2009. 
The fiscal year 2008 fire grant period closed on September 30, 2009, 
the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] Actual percentage refers to actual awards as a percentage of the 
AFG appropriation. 

[B] Target percentage refers to targeted awards as a percentage of the 
AFG appropriation. 

[End of figure] 

As of July 2009, FEMA Had Not Met the Statutory Requirement Related to 
Distributing Fiscal Year 2008 FP&S Grants, but Met This Requirement for 
Fiscal Year 2007 FP&S Grants: 

Because of delays in the approval of program guidance, no fiscal year 
2008 FP&S grants had been awarded as of July 2009. Therefore, we 
reviewed FEMA's data related to its fiscal year 2007 FP&S grant funding 
distributions. According to these data, FEMA met the 5 percent minimum 
statutory requirement in fiscal year 2007 by awarding $33,887,071, or 
about 6.2 percent, of the total AFG appropriation for FP&S grants. 
Thus, FEMA ensured that FP&S grant applicants received the percentage 
of funds mandated by statute. 

FEMA Met Statutory Requirements for Distributing Fiscal Year 2008 SAFER 
Grants: 

In fiscal year 2008, FEMA met statutory requirements related to 
distributing funds for SAFER grants. FEMA is required to set aside 10 
percent of the annual SAFER Act appropriation for all volunteer or 
majority volunteer fire departments to compete for hiring grants, which 
are otherwise open to all fire departments regardless of their career, 
combination or volunteer status. Recruitment and retention grants, 
which are open to volunteer and combination but not career departments, 
must also account for at least 10 percent of appropriated funding, in 
addition to the unused balance, if any, from the 10 percent hiring 
grant set-aside. FEMA complied with these requirements by awarding $21 
million, or about 11 percent, of the $190 million in SAFER funding to 
volunteer and majority volunteer fire departments for hiring efforts. 
In addition, FEMA also awarded $20 million, or about 11 percent, of the 
funds to volunteer and combination departments for the purpose of 
recruitment and retention. Thus, FEMA ensured that SAFER grant 
applicants received the percentage of funds mandated by statute (see 
figure 6). 

Figure 6: SAFER Statutory Requirements and Awards by Activity, Fiscal 
Year 2008: 

[Refer to PDF for image: vertical bar graph] 

Set-aside level: 10 percent. 

Activity: Recruitment and retention; 
Actual award total: $20 million; 
Actual percentage[B]: 11%; 
SAFER appropriation: $190 million. 

Activity: Hiring[A]; 
Actual award total: $144 million; 
Actual percentage[B]: 60%; 
SAFER appropriation: $190 million. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: According to FEMA program officials, the fire grants data for 
fiscal year 2008 are current as of July 2009, and about 90 percent of 
the funding had been awarded at that time. The fiscal year 2008 fire 
grants period closed on September 30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 
2009. 

[A] The $114 million includes hiring grant awards to all fire 
departments, whether career, combination or volunteer. Of this amount, 
FEMA awarded $21 million to volunteer and majority volunteer fire 
departments, which is the portion attributable to the 10 percent hiring 
grant set-aside. 

[B] Actual percentage refers to actual awards as a percentage of the 
appropriation. 

[End of figure] 

FEMA Has Taken Actions to Assist Grant Applicants and Involves the Fire 
Service Community in Establishing Grant Criteria and Reviewing Grant 
Applications: 

FEMA has developed various tools to assist grant applicants with the 
application process and involves the nine major fire service 
organizations in developing criteria for annual fire grant funding 
priorities and in the peer review process. FEMA assists grant 
applicants by sponsoring workshops, publishing an online tutorial, and 
providing a toll-free hotline, among other actions. Each of the nine 
major fire service organizations sends representatives to serve on the 
annual criteria development panel, which recommends changes to the 
grant evaluation criteria and the funding priorities for the next 
fiscal year. During the peer review process, fire service practitioners 
independently rank the grant applications according to the evaluation 
elements recommended by the criteria development panel. 

FEMA Has Assisted Grant Applicants through Workshops and Online 
Tutorials, among Other Actions: 

FEMA has developed various tools to assist fire grant applicants with 
the application process. According to a program specialist responsible 
for administering the AFG and SAFER grant programs, FEMA's regional 
offices sponsored approximately 400 AFG and SAFER workshops throughout 
the country in 2008. While not all of the 36 randomly selected fire 
grant applicants in our nonprobability sample had attended workshops, 6 
grant applicants that had done so explained that they received basic 
information on the grant application and award process, such as a 
review of the grant guidance and funding priorities, and how to write 
the narrative section of the application. See appendix XI for a listing 
of fire grant applicants included in our interviews. FEMA has also 
contracted with the North American Fire Training Directors to provide a 
grant-writing training class to fire departments in all 50 states 
throughout the year. The training class explains the grant 
opportunities available through the AFG program, describes the 
application process, and provides detailed information to guide 
applicants in drafting narratives. The course includes a slide 
presentation with an instructor's guide and is designed to be about 4 
to 6 hours in length. The contract allots up to $5,000 per state, 
totaling $250,000 for grant-writing technical assistance to be 
delivered from January 2009 through January 2010. 

In addition, FEMA has created an online tutorial to guide AFG, SAFER, 
and FP&S applicants through the grant application process. Of the 36 
applicants we interviewed, 20 applicants stated that they used online 
tutorials and 13 of them stated that the tutorial was helpful to a 
great or very great extent. Two of these applicants stated that the 
tutorials were useful to a great extent because they provide needed 
information on specific sections of the applications and help identify 
problematic areas. Applicants seeking further assistance can call a 
toll-free hotline, which is staffed by contract personnel who have 
firefighting experience, or they can e-mail FEMA. FEMA provides 
technical assistance Monday through Friday for each of the three grant 
programs and also provides such assistance over the weekend for AFG 
applicants. In 2008, FEMA received an estimated total of 12,000 calls 
to the hotline and responded to an estimated 10,000 e-mails. FEMA has 
also established a mentoring program designed for departments that have 
unsuccessfully applied for fire grants for at least 5 years and offers 
this assistance to all departments that qualify. About half of the 
departments accept FEMA's offer to participate in the mentoring 
program, in which each participating department is paired with a former 
peer review panelist and given a tutorial to guide it through the 
process. As of May 2009, about 400 departments were being mentored and 
about 30 to 40 percent have been successful in receiving a subsequent 
grant. While FEMA allows applicants to hire a grant writer to assist 
them with the process, applicants are responsible for the accuracy of 
information provided by the grant writer. The grant writer fees 
included in the grant amount requested are reimbursable, providing that 
they are declared in the application and do not depend on award. 

FEMA Involves the Fire Service Community in Establishing Grant Criteria 
and Funding Priorities and in Assessing Grant Applications: 

FEMA has taken a number of steps to involve the fire service community 
in the grant process. For example, each year, FEMA brings together a 
panel of fire service professionals representing the leadership of the 
nine major fire service organizations to conduct a criteria development 
meeting to develop the program's priorities for the coming year. 
[Footnote 34] According to a program specialist responsible for 
administering the AFG and SAFER grant programs, the panel convenes for 
3 days in the summer before the annual appropriations process and is 
composed of 3 representatives from each of the organizations, totaling 
roughly 50 participants, including FEMA staff. The panel is responsible 
for making recommendations to FEMA's AFG Program Office regarding the 
creation of program priorities, modification of program priorities, or 
both for all three fire grant programs--AFG, FP&S, and SAFER--as well 
as the development of criteria upon which the evaluation of grant 
applications is based. The panel's recommendations are placed in a 
report that panelists submit to FEMA, which then incorporates the 
suggestions into the next fiscal year's grant guidance. 

Peer Review Panel Process Is Designed to Support Independent Assessment 
of Application Merits: 

FEMA's peer review process--in which members of the nine major fire 
service organizations participate in assessing grant applications-- 
also helps ensure that the fire service community is involved in making 
grant awards.[Footnote 35] According to FEMA, the peer review process 
is a key component for ensuring fairness in awarding fire grants. Peer 
review panelists are to conduct an independent assessment of the merits 
of the applications based on the extent to which the proposed projects 
align with the grant year's funding priorities and meet the program's 
goals and objectives. 

Before arriving at the peer review panel, participants are required to 
complete an online tutorial and test, and then submit their 
certification of a passing grade during the panel orientation. If a 
panelist has not completed the tutorial, he or she is required to do so 
at the panel orientation. When panelists arrive at orientation, they 
are required to sign and submit a statement declaring that they have no 
known or apparent conflicts of interest as well as a nondisclosure form 
agreeing to keep the results of the review confidential. The panelists 
are then divided into groups of four at different tables. FEMA 
instructs the panelists not to review applications if they know the 
applicant or if the applicant is from their state. In the event that a 
potential conflict of interest arises, FEMA replaces the entire batch 
of applications provided to the table of panelists with a new batch. 
FEMA also instructs the panelists not to share applicant information 
with any panelists other than those seated at their table. All 
panelists receive an evaluation sheet that lists the evaluation 
factors, along with a rubric that provides guidelines for rating grant 
applications against the evaluation factors. They also receive a copy 
of the grant guidance, which contains the funding priorities. 

New panelists receive a 2-½-hour orientation by FEMA program staff, who 
provide instruction on distinguishing between average and good 
applications, the logistics of individual scoring and table discussion, 
and the possible need to reduce the requested grant amount, among other 
things. Once the orientation is completed, the panelists individually 
read and score the narrative section of the applications as well as 
responses to other parts of the application, based on the applicable 
evaluation criteria. For example, for fiscal year 2008 AFG 
applications, panelists provided numerical scores on the basis of four 
evaluation factors stated in their score sheets, which were (1) project 
description, (2) cost/benefit of the proposed project, (3) financial 
need, and (4) effect of the proposed project on daily operations. 
[Footnote 36] 

After each panelist at the table scores an application, the panelists 
discuss any differences of opinion and the merits or limitations of the 
application. Orientation facilitators inform panelists that the aim of 
the table discussion is not to arrive at a consensus, but rather to 
discuss each application as it pertains to each of the evaluation 
elements. If panelists are unable to reconcile any large scoring 
disparity (defined as 10 points or greater), they bring the dispute to 
the attention of a panel chair member who is responsible for ensuring 
that panelists document their discussion and indicate the scoring 
disparity on their scoring sheets. Panelists may amend their individual 
scores or choose to keep them unchanged on their evaluation sheets. 
FEMA files all of the panelists' evaluation sheets for each 
application, including the panelists' comments and recommendations to 
reduce the funding amount, reject, or award, with the applications. 
After evaluations are entered into FEMA's database, an average score is 
electronically generated that determines whether the application 
proceeds to the technical review process, which occurs concurrently in 
a separate room at the panel location for applications with the highest 
scores. 

Fire Service Community Participates in Peer Review: 

FEMA AFG Program Office officials explained that the number of 
panelists varies from year to year and the number of nominees that they 
request from each of the nine major fire service organizations depends 
upon the amount of appropriated funding as well as the number of 
applications submitted. Typically, the organizations each nominate 
about 24 to 40 people for the AFG panel, 10 for the SAFER panel, and 24 
to 28 for the FP&S panel. FEMA also sends letters to subgroups within 
the organizations that represent minorities to receive nominations to 
help diversify the panel. According to a program specialist responsible 
for administering the AFG and SAFER grant programs, while FEMA does not 
verify whether the organizations' nominees are qualified to attend the 
panel, it asks for the résumés of self-nominees or of those nominated 
by members of Congress. The official explained that in selecting the 
peer review panelists, FEMA considers availability to attend, racial 
diversity, and the ratio of new-to-repeat panelists. In fiscal year 
2008, 285 people served on the AFG panel, 47 served on the SAFER panel, 
and 160 served on the FP&S panel. The official stated that FEMA 
considers panelists new if they have not participated in that 
particular grant program panel review, regardless of prior experience 
as a peer reviewer for another grant program. Although FEMA selects 
both new and returning panelists to review applications in any or all 
three grant categories, it tries to limit returning panelists to no 
more than one-third of the total panel composition. However, AFG 
Program Office officials may invite additional returning panelists if 
there are not enough confirmed attendees. Panelists are volunteers-- 
although FEMA pays the entire cost of each panelist's transportation, 
food, and lodging, it does not compensate panelists for any loss of 
income they may incur while serving on the panel. Lodging is typically 
provided at a federal training facility in Emmitsburg, Maryland, at no 
cost to the grant program. 

In interviews with a nonprobability sample of 36 fire grant applicants, 
22 applicants, or about 61 percent, stated that they had never been 
asked to serve on a panel. When asked whether they thought that the 
peer review process was fair and objective, 23 stated that it was, 
while 3 stated that it was not, and 10 did not know. In addition, 32 of 
the applicants stated that they believed that experience as a peer 
reviewer was beneficial to completing a grant application. 

Although FEMA officials attempt to ensure that new peer review 
panelists make up two-thirds of the peer review panel each year, they 
stated that they do not currently undertake additional outreach 
activities themselves to encourage nominations of new panelists, such 
as notifying applicants of opportunities to serve on peer review panels 
during FEMA's workshops or other assistance activities they sponsor for 
applicants. Rather, FEMA relies on the nine major fire service 
organizations for nominations of new panelists. AFG Program Office 
officials stated that while they strive to provide an even chance to as 
many fire departments and other organizations as possible to serve on 
peer review panels, representatives of departments that are invited 
sometimes fail to appear to serve on the panel without informing FEMA. 
Therefore, officials have invited some departments multiple times 
because they have proven to be reliable and good reviewers. They 
acknowledged that although FEMA does not currently limit the number of 
times that a department can send representatives to serve on the 
panels, establishing such a limit could expand opportunities for other 
departments to participate in the peer review process. In addition, 
they also stated that they are considering conducting outreach efforts 
to expand peer review participation, such as announcing opportunities 
to serve on an upcoming peer review panel at workshops. In addition to 
expanding peer review participation, such efforts could benefit peer 
review panelists by allowing them to incorporate firsthand knowledge of 
the panel process into their future grant applications. 

While FEMA Has Taken Actions to Help Make Its Grant Process More 
Accessible, FEMA Could Benefit from Improved Clarity and Consistency of 
Grant Guidance and Better Controls over the Process for Reviewing and 
Approving Grant Guidance: 

FEMA has taken actions--such as publishing grant guidance and 
applications online--to ensure that its grant process is more easily 
accessible to grant applicants, but the agency could enhance the 
clarity and consistency of its grant guidance and the controls over its 
review and approval process. While grant guidance priorities are 
generally perceived as clear by grant applicants we interviewed, we 
identified inconsistencies between the grant guidance and the grant 
applications and grant scoring matrix language. In addition, FEMA has 
experienced significant delays in issuing grant guidance, and the 
agency does not have controls to monitor the progress of the review 
process. Finally, the majority of fire grant applicants that we 
interviewed felt they received inadequate feedback on why their 
applications were rejected. 

FEMA Publishes Annual Grant Guidance Online to Increase Accessibility: 

Before each annual grant application period, FEMA publishes updated 
grant guidance on its Web site and has created an online grant 
application, which is designed to be user-friendly. Publication of the 
annual grant guidance on the FEMA Web site makes it more accessible to 
potential applicants. The grant guidance provides applicants with an 
explanation of the information that will be required in the 
application, as well as informing them of any grant priorities for the 
fire grants for that year, such as whether training will be given 
priority. FEMA encourages applicants to apply for fire grants online 
because of delays and mistakes associated with processing paper 
applications. The electronic application has built-in "Help" screens 
and drop-down menus. Applicants for each of the three grant programs 
are required to answer a series of questions about their department and 
the particular grant they are applying for, as well as provide a 
narrative that discusses the impact to result from the proposed use of 
the grant funds, among other things. Both the answers to the questions 
and the narrative are to be reviewed and scored by the peer review 
panel. 

FEMA's Grant Guidance and Application Forms Generally Reflect Statutory 
Requirements for the Submission of Specific Information by Applicants, 
but May Not Obtain All Statutorily Required Information: 

The statutes authorizing the three fire grant programs contain specific 
grant application requirements, which require FEMA to collect and 
consider certain information from applicants in making grant awards; 
however, not all of these requirements are included in FEMA's grant 
guidance and application forms. For the AFG and FP&S grant programs, 
the Fire Act requires grant applicants to include (1) information 
demonstrating financial need, (2) an analysis of costs and benefits 
resulting from the assistance, (3) a list of other sources of federal 
funding received by the applicant to avoid duplicative funding, and (4) 
an agreement by the applicant to provide information to the National 
Fire Incident Reporting System during the grant period.[Footnote 37] An 
additional requirement applies to the AFG program, requiring FEMA to 
consider the extent to which the grant would enhance the fire 
department's daily operations and the grant's impact on the protection 
of lives and property.[Footnote 38] 

Based on our review, the AFG and FP&S fiscal year 2008 grant guidance 
and application forms instruct applicants to provide information 
consistent with the above statutory requirements, with one exception 
relating to the FP&S R&D activity, as indicated in table 4. 

Table 4: GAO Assessment of Whether FEMA Requested That AFG and FP&S 
Applicants Submit Statutorily Required Information with Their Grant 
Applications, Fiscal Year 2008: 

Statutory information requirements: 
1. Information that demonstrates the financial need of the applicant 
for the grant assistance; 
Did FEMA request information during fiscal year 2008 grant cycle? 
AFG applicants[A]: Yes; 
FP&S applicants for R&D activity: Yes; 
FP&S applicants for fire prevention and safety activity: Yes. 

Statutory information requirements: 
2. An analysis of the grant's costs and benefits with respect to public 
safety; 
Did FEMA request information during fiscal year 2008 grant cycle? 
AFG applicants[A]: Yes; 
FP&S applicants for R&D activity: No; 
FP&S applicants for fire prevention and safety activity: Yes. 

Statutory information requirements: 
3. An agreement by the applicant to report to the National Fire 
Incident Reporting System during the period of assistance; 
Did FEMA request information during fiscal year 2008 grant cycle? 
AFG applicants[A]: Yes; 
FP&S applicants for R&D activity: Yes; 
FP&S applicants for fire prevention and safety activity: Yes. 

Statutory information requirements: 
4. A list of other sources of federal funding received by the applicant 
to avoid duplicative funding; 
Did FEMA request information during fiscal year 2008 grant cycle? 
AFG applicants[A]: Yes; 
FP&S applicants for R&D activity: Yes; 
FP&S applicants for fire prevention and safety activity: Yes. 

Statutory information requirements: 
5. The extent to which the grant would enhance the applicant's daily 
operations and the grant's impact on protection of lives and property; 
Did FEMA request information during fiscal year 2008 grant cycle? 
AFG applicants[A]: Yes; 
FP&S applicants for R&D activity: N/A; 
FP&S applicants for fire prevention and safety activity: N/A. 

Source: GAO. 

Legend: N/A = not applicable. 

[A] We did not assess a statutory requirement regarding AFG 
applications submitted by nonaffiliated EMS organizations. In applying 
the grant selection criteria to nonaffiliated EMS organizations, FEMA 
is required to consider whether other sources of federal funding are 
available to provide EMS assistance. 15 U.S.C. § 2229(b)(10)(F). Unlike 
the requirements we assessed, this provision does not require the 
applicant to submit any information, nor does it require FEMA to 
establish a separate evaluation criterion regarding EMS funding 
sources. Thus, we chose not to evaluate the absence of this requirement 
in the fiscal year 2008 AFG grant guidance. 

[End of table] 

FP&S grants cover two activities: (1) fire prevention and safety and 
(2) firefighter safety R&D.[Footnote 39] However, FEMA grant guidance 
only instructed applicants to provide the statutorily required cost- 
benefit analysis for projects proposed under the fire prevention and 
safety activity, not the R&D activity. Apart from this exception, the 
grant guidance and applications forms for both the AFG and FP&S 
programs incorporate the Fire Act's information requirements. In 
particular, according to the grant guidance for both programs, fire 
departments that are awarded grants are to provide information to the 
National Fire Incident Reporting System during the grant period, as 
required by statute. In addition, the application forms for both grant 
programs require applicants to identify other sources of federal 
funding they are receiving that may duplicate the purpose of their 
grant request. Although a program specialist responsible for 
administering the AFG and SAFER grant programs stated that few grant 
applicants receive grant awards from other sources, FEMA queries its 
internal records of all grant applicants to prevent making duplicate 
awards. The three remaining AFG statutory requirements--financial need 
information, a cost-benefit analysis, and an impact statement--appear 
as evaluation criteria in the AFG guidance that applicants are to 
address in their project narratives. The two remaining FP&S statutory 
requirements--financial need information and a cost-benefit analysis-- 
appear as evaluation criteria for the fire prevention and safety 
activity, but the evaluation criteria for the R&D activity include only 
one of these two statutory requirements, financial need. By taking 
steps to ensure that all statutorily required information is included 
in the grant guidance and application forms, FEMA is better positioned 
to provide reasonable assurance that grants are awarded in accordance 
with the statute. 

In addition, the SAFER Act also specifies certain information that 
applicants are required to submit, in addition to any other information 
required by FEMA. The statute requires each applicant to (1) provide 
assurances regarding diversity in hiring, (2) explain its inability to 
address the need without federal assistance, and (3) specify long-term 
retention plans after federal funding ends.[Footnote 40] With respect 
to the latter requirement, SAFER hiring grant applicants are to 
specifically discuss how they plan to meet the statute's 5-year service 
commitment (i.e., 1-year of service for SAFER-funded firefighters after 
the 4-year funding period ends).[Footnote 41] Furthermore, SAFER hiring 
grant applicants are to address another statutory requirement, a 
commitment not to discriminate against firefighters serving as 
volunteers in other jurisdictions during off-duty hours.[Footnote 42] 

Based on our review, the fiscal year 2008 SAFER grant guidance and 
application forms instruct applicants to provide information consistent 
with the above statutory requirements, although for SAFER recruitment 
and retention grants, the guidance and application form only partially 
address one of the information requirements, as indicated in table 5. 

Table 5: GAO Assessment of Whether FEMA Requested That SAFER Applicants 
Submit Statutorily Required Information with Their Grant Applications, 
Fiscal Year 2008: 

Statutory information requirements: 
1. Assurances regarding diversity in hiring; 
Did FEMA request information during fiscal year 2008 grant cycle? SAFER 
hiring grant applicants: Yes; 
SAFER recruitment and retention applicants: Yes. 

Statutory information requirements: 
2. Applicant's inability to meet the need without federal assistance; 
Did FEMA request information during fiscal year 2008 grant cycle? SAFER 
hiring grant applicants: Yes; 
SAFER recruitment and retention applicants: Yes. 

Statutory information requirements: 
3. Long-term retention plans after federal funding ends; 
Did FEMA request information during fiscal year 2008 grant cycle? 
SAFER hiring grant applicants: Yes; 
SAFER recruitment and retention applicants: Partially. 

Statutory information requirements: 
4. Ability to meet the statute's 5-year service commitment (i.e., 1 
year of service for SAFER-funded firefighters after the 4-year funding 
period ends); 
Did FEMA request information during fiscal year 2008 grant cycle? 
SAFER hiring grant applicants: Yes; 
SAFER recruitment and retention applicants: N/A. 

Statutory information requirements: 
5. Applicant's commitment not to discriminate against firefighters 
serving as volunteers in other jurisdictions during off-duty hours; 
Did FEMA request information during fiscal year 2008 grant cycle? 
SAFER hiring grant applicants: Yes; 
SAFER recruitment and retention applicants: N/A. 

Source: GAO. 

Legend: N/A = not applicable. 

[End of table] 

FEMA's guidance for SAFER hiring grants includes each of the statutory 
information requirements within the evaluation factors that applicants 
are to address in their project narratives. For example, each hiring 
grant applicant is to include a statement regarding how the applicant 
plans to meet the nonfederal match requirement for the 5-year service 
period, including any long-term plans to retain the new firefighter 
positions, as required by the statute.[Footnote 43] Although the SAFER 
hiring grant guidance instructs applicants to submit all statutorily 
required information, the statement of long-term retention plans is 
less specific in the SAFER recruitment and retention grant guidance and 
application questions, which ask applicants to include "specifics about 
the recruitment and/or retention plan." Because this language gives 
applicants the option of providing specifics on recruitment or 
retention plans, FEMA may not receive information on applicant's long- 
term retention plans after federal funding ends, especially from 
applicants seeking grants for recruitment purposes. Clarifying the 
SAFER recruitment and retention grant guidance with respect to 
applicants' long-term retention plans could help FEMA ensure that it 
collects the information necessary to determine whether awarded grants 
used for recruitment or retention purposes will have a lasting impact 
after federal funding ends. FEMA does explicitly instruct applicants to 
address the other two statutory requirements--diversity in hiring and 
inability to meet the need without federal assistance--which apply to 
SAFER recruitment and retention grants. 

Grant Priorities Are Generally Perceived as Clear by Grant Applicants, 
but Are Not Consistently Aligned with the Scoring Matrix and Grant 
Application Questions: 

Seventy-eight percent (28 of 36) of the grant applicants that we 
interviewed described the grant guidance as being clear to a great or 
to a very great extent, 7 said that it was clear to a moderate extent, 
and 1 applicant said that he did not know. For example, 1 applicant 
stated that the guidance was consistently well written and another 
commented that it was simple and user-friendly. However, 10 applicants 
provided suggestions for how FEMA could further clarify its grant 
guidance--including its grant priorities. For example, 1 suggested that 
priorities be more expressly stated so that he could make a more 
qualified decision on whether to apply. The fiscal year 2008 AFG 
program guidance does not summarize funding priorities for any activity 
other than for the vehicle acquisition program. Likewise, the fiscal 
year 2008 FP&S and SAFER program guidance also do not summarize funding 
priorities. AFG Program Office officials acknowledged that the fire 
grants program guidance could be made clearer, possibly by 
incorporating tables or charts highlighting program priorities. 

Moreover, while FEMA's grant guidance and application questions for the 
AFG, FP&S, and SAFER grant programs generally incorporate statutory 
information requirements, priorities in the grant guidance are not 
always reflected in the scoring matrix and application questions. For 
example, the fiscal year 2008 SAFER guidance states that continuity-- 
which refers to whether an applicant's recruitment and retention 
activities are designed to continue beyond the grants' period of 
performance--is a priority for recruitment and retention grants. 
However, there is no application question that addresses this priority, 
nor is there a scoring matrix value that corresponds to continuity. 
Further, the fiscal year 2008 AFG guidance for wellness and fitness 
grants prioritizes fitness and injury prevention projects over 
rehabilitation, but in the scoring matrix all wellness and fitness 
project categories are scored equally. Grant priorities/criteria in the 
guidance are updated every year based on the recommendations made by 
the criteria development panel. According to a program specialist 
responsible for administering the AFG and SAFER grant programs, it 
would be difficult to capture the concept of continuity in the form of 
a question, and the misalignment regarding wellness and fitness 
priorities may have occurred because of insufficient oversight by FEMA. 

It is important that FEMA ensure that its grant guidance is not only 
clear but also consistently aligned with the application questions and 
scoring matrix. According to the National Procurement Fraud Task Force, 
[Footnote 44] grant funds are awarded to carry out goals and objectives 
as they are identified in the grant guidance. In order for there to be 
accurate and consistent alignment between the grant awards and 
guidance, the application questions and their weighted scoring values 
must also reflect the intentions of the grant program as stated in the 
guidance. Developing grant guidance and application questions that are 
consistent with funding priorities could help FEMA ensure that grant 
funds are awarded in accordance with the agency's priorities. 

Review and Approval Process of Draft Fire Grant Guidance Is Not 
Documented and Monitored: 

FEMA's Section Chief for the FP&S program stated that although the FP&S 
grant guidance is to be issued in August or September at the start of 
each fiscal year, it has not been issued on time for the past 3 fiscal 
years--the review and approval process for the fiscal year 2008 grant 
guidance took over 17 months, and guidance was not issued until 
February 2009. See appendix XII for more detailed information about the 
time frames for the fiscal year 2008 fire grants process. Because of 
this delay, the peer review panel convened to assess grant applications 
in April 2009, and FEMA began awarding fiscal year 2008 FP&S awards in 
August 2009. FEMA program officials stated that because of the delays 
in the approval of the grant guidance, FEMA was unable to reserve 
classroom and dormitory space at the federal facility in Emmitsburg, 
Maryland, where prior peer review panels had met, and the panel met at 
a private hotel in Towson, Maryland, at a cost of about $90,000. As a 
result of this expenditure, there were fewer funds to award to grant 
applicants. 

According to FEMA's Office of Policy and Program Analysis, there is no 
systematic method for tracking the review and approval process for fire 
grant guidance, no internal deadlines,[Footnote 45] and no 
documentation to help determine the cause for delays in the issuance of 
grant guidance. AFG Program Office officials said that they are not 
fully aware of the review and approval process once the drafted 
guidance leaves the AFG Program Office and is sent to other offices 
within FEMA and DHS. They said that the delay in issuing the fiscal 
year 2008 FP&S guidance occurred when the FEMA Policy Coordinating 
Group found that the AFG Program Office did not possess a Paperwork 
Reduction Act clearance in order to collect information from others 
outside of the federal government.[Footnote 46] In response, the AFG 
Program Office submitted a request for an emergency clearance, which 
OMB did not approve.[Footnote 47] According to OMB officials, the 
clearance was denied because OMB believed that FEMA should go through 
proper channels to obtain a routine clearance for its fire grant 
program because FEMA had previously asked for other emergency 
clearances.[Footnote 48] AFG Program Office officials stated that after 
denial of the emergency clearance, the AFG Program Office published the 
FP&S guidance despite not possessing the clearance, and the delay in 
issuing the FP&S guidance delayed the AFG grant application cycle 
because peer review panels cannot be held concurrently. AFG Program 
Office officials stated that they anticipate receiving the clearance 
for all three grant programs in the near future. 

While neither FEMA nor DHS has documented the review and approval 
process, we analyzed information provided by interviewed officials and 
confirmed with them the guidance review and approval process shown in 
figure 7. 

Figure 7: Grant Guidance Review and Approval Process: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration] 

FEMA: 

AFG Program office develops guidance: 
GPD review: 
Grants Management Division review: 
Internal concurrent review by the offices of Chief Financial Officer, 
Chief Counsel, and Policy Review: 
Chief Counsel’s Office review: 
Deputy assistant and assistant administrator review: 
Office of Policy and Program Analysis review: 
Policy Coordinating Group review and GPD implementation briefing: 
Chief Counsel’s Office approves guidance: 
Administrator approves guidance. 

DHS: 
Office of Policy review: 
Deputy secretary review: 
Environmental review: 
Counsel review: 

OMB: 
OMB review: 

DHS: 
DHS review, which includes Chief Financial Office review and the Office 
of Grant Policy and Oversight review: 

FEMA: 
Guidance returned to FEMA program office and published in Federal 
Register. 

Sources: GAO analysis of FEMA data and Art Explosion (clip art).  

[End of figure] 

While we did not specifically ask about this issue, 16 applicants with 
whom we spoke raised concerns regarding the uncertainty associated with 
the issuance of grant guidance and the notification of award decisions. 
These applicants explained that they often receive notifications that 
the grant period is open or receive grant awards significantly later 
than they had anticipated. In addition, nine of the 36 grant applicants 
suggested that FEMA should award grants in a more timely way or provide 
more precise information on when or whether an award could be expected. 
Further, an official from one of the nine fire service organizations 
stated that uncertainties and delays could cause problems in requesting 
money for matching amounts from city governments to use for fire grant 
projects. In April 2004, we reported that timely grant awards are 
imperative to provide intended benefits.[Footnote 49] 

Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government states that 
internal control and all transactions and other significant events need 
to be clearly documented, and that documentation should appear in 
management directives, administrative policies, or operating manuals. 
Such documentation may be in paper or electronic form and all 
documentation and records should be properly managed and maintained. 
[Footnote 50] Furthermore, standard practices for program management 
state that defining milestones or deadlines, among other factors, are 
essential in providing a road map to effectively implementing a 
program.[Footnote 51] Given that there are no controls to routinely 
monitor the review and approval of grant guidance by FEMA, DHS, and 
OMB, FEMA has no systematic method for determining when guidance will 
be issued each year. When guidance is delayed, the entire grant process 
is delayed, which could affect grant applicants' ability to secure 
state funds for activities covered by the grant since they are unsure 
whether the grants will be awarded. In addition, when grant guidance is 
delayed, scheduling peer review panels is challenging for FEMA program 
officials and USFA and has resulted in loss of award funds due to 
increased administrative costs. 

Grant Applicants Desire More Specific Feedback on Why Their Grant 
Applications Were Turned Down: 

Once the grant review process is completed, unsuccessful applicants 
receive letters notifying them of the reason(s) their applications were 
turned down for grant awards, but some applicants have stated that they 
would like more information on the reasons for their rejection. 
According to AFG Program Office officials, applicants receive rejection 
letters at the same time as grant awards are being announced. The 
officials further stated that sending rejection letters to thousands of 
applicants is time and resource intensive. The AFG Program Office has 
developed 16 templates to use in sending AFG applicants letters 
explaining the reasons for their rejection. Explanations that FEMA 
provides to unsuccessful applicants include (1) discrepancies between 
the itemized request and the narrative justification for those items, 
(2) an applicant or the specific activity for which grant funding was 
requested is ineligible for funding, or (3) incomplete fulfillment of 
the requirements of previous grant awards received by the applicant. 
These letters inform the applicants that there were an extremely high 
number of applications and a finite amount of funding, which resulted 
in many worthy applicants not being funded. 

In certain cases, the information contained in these letters is more 
positive and does not provide detailed information on the reason for 
the rejection. For example, FEMA may send an applicant a letter 
explaining that while the peer review panelists' scores indicated that 
its application was generally good, the agency does not have enough 
funding to offer the applicant an award after awarding grants to 
applicants with higher scores. However, FEMA states that if it 
identifies any excess funding or if some of the applicants that have 
been offered a grant decline the offers, the agency might be able to 
fund the request. According to AFG Program Office officials, applicants 
are not allowed to appeal panelists' scores. Rather, they can only 
request reconsiderations because of processing issues. For example, 
they can argue that terminology in the grant guidance was unclear. 

Four of the nine major fire service organizations expressed concern 
about the level of feedback provided to rejected applicants.[Footnote 
52] One official stated that FEMA's denial letters lack specificity 
about why their applications were denied, while another official stated 
that rejected departments were frustrated with not knowing why their 
applications were rejected year after year. Another official suggested 
that FEMA publish a list of the top 10 reasons why grants are turned 
down in order to provide greater clarity to applicants. 

Moreover, 61 percent of the 36 grant applicants that we interviewed (22 
of 36) stated that the feedback they received from FEMA regarding why 
their applications were turned down was helpful to little or no extent. 
One applicant stated that he did not receive any feedback from FEMA and 
that his fire department had called the agency to learn the status of 
its application. In addition, 6 applicants stated that the feedback was 
helpful to some or to a moderate extent and another 6 stated that the 
feedback was helpful to a great or very great extent. However, 1 
applicant reported not knowing the extent to which the feedback was 
helpful. Seventy-five percent (27 of 36) of grant applicants with whom 
we spoke suggested that FEMA's feedback should include specific reasons 
why the grant application was denied. For example, 3 grant applicants 
suggested that it would be helpful if FEMA provided information 
regarding the specific stage in the application review process where an 
application was rejected. One fire department suggested that FEMA cite 
whether an application contained a poorly written narrative or was 
rejected for another reason, such as a request for equipment that was 
not a funding priority. Another applicant suggested that peer reviewers 
provide applicants the reasons why their applications scored low, and 
another suggested that FEMA include information on available assistance 
for future grant cycles, such as the online tutorial or list of 
workshops. 

Providing feedback to grant applicants is an important part of the fire 
grant program. In its 2007 report on the AFG program, the National 
Academy of Public Administration listed improving feedback to grant 
applicants as a strategic objective for the grant management process. 
The strategic objective is for FEMA to improve the feedback to 
unsuccessful candidates so that applicants can understand why they did 
not receive grants, thereby increasing participation and improving the 
quality of requested grants.[Footnote 53] AFG Program Office officials 
acknowledged that they could strengthen efforts to improve feedback to 
applicants who are turned down for grants following the peer review 
process. According to the Director of the AFG program, FEMA could 
modify the feedback provided to unsuccessful applicants to better 
explain the reasons why applications were rejected. We have previously 
reported the need to provide clear feedback to unsuccessful applicants 
on the strengths and weaknesses of their grant applications.[Footnote 
54] Providing specific feedback to applicants regarding the reasons 
that they are denied grants could help FEMA strengthen future grant 
application processes and better position it to achieve its intended 
benefits of assisting fire departments that are most in need. 

Conclusions: 

Through the years, the U.S. fire service community has experienced 
changes in its responsibilities to the public as well as decreases in 
local budget distribution, which underscore the need for fire 
departments nationwide to have the resources necessary to protect their 
communities. Through its fire grant programs, FEMA has an opportunity 
to assist fire departments that are struggling to meet their 
responsibilities. While FEMA distributed fire grants to a variety of 
applicants for a variety of activities, developing and implementing a 
procedure for capturing the percentage of appropriated funds awarded to 
fire departments related to EMS equipment and training would better 
position FEMA to more readily determine if it met the minimum amount 
established by statute. FEMA could improve the clarity and consistency 
of the grant review and award process by collecting all statutorily 
required information and eliminating inconsistencies between the 
guidance, the scoring matrix, and the application, which may confuse 
applicants. Additionally, by improving its internal controls to 
document and track the grant guidance review and approval against 
established milestones, FEMA could provide applicants the opportunity 
to plan for matching funds by determining when guidance will be issued 
each year. Finally, by providing more specific feedback and information 
on assistance, FEMA could help ensure that applicants have the 
opportunity to prepare better applications, and thus have a greater 
chance of being awarded grants in the future. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To ensure compliance with all AFG statutory requirements, we recommend 
that the Administrator of FEMA establish a procedure for tracking the 
percentage of grant funds awarded to fire departments for EMS purposes. 

In addition, to improve the clarity, consistency, and controls of the 
grant review and award process, we recommend that the Administrator of 
FEMA take the following three actions: 

* Ensure that the priorities in the grant guidance are aligned with the 
scoring matrix and the grant application questions, and that FEMA 
requests applicants to submit all statutorily required information. 

* Coordinate with the Secretary of Homeland Security to document the 
review and approval process for its grant guidance, develop a tracking 
system to monitor the progress of the review within FEMA and DHS, and 
set internal deadlines so that guidance can be issued in a timely 
manner. 

* Inform unsuccessful applicants about the forms of assistance 
available to them in future grant cycles and provide more specific 
feedback to applicants that are turned down for grants following the 
peer review. 

Agency Comments: 

We provided a draft of this report to DHS and FEMA for review and 
comment. On October 22, 2009, DHS provided written comments on the 
draft report, which are reprinted in appendix XIV. DHS concurred with 
our recommendations and is taking actions to address them. DHS stated 
that FEMA will examine the available options and adopt one for manually 
and electronically monitoring percentages of grant funds awarded to 
fire departments for emergency medical services purposes to ensure 
compliance. DHS also stated that FEMA will explore options and identify 
means for providing clear, concise, and consistent information to 
applicants on the funding priorities and statutorily required 
information. In addition, DHS stated that FEMA will work with 
applicable offices to enable a timely review and tracking of program 
guidance material. Further, DHS stated that additional training and 
outreach efforts are being developed to enhance feedback to applicants. 

We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Homeland 
Security, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, interested 
congressional committees, and other interested parties. The report also 
will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, or wish 
to discuss these matters further, please contact me at (202) 512-8777 
or jenkinswo@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices of Congressional 
Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last page of this 
report. Key contributors to this report are listed in appendix XV. 

Signed by: 

William O. Jenkins, Jr. 
Director, Homeland Security and Justice: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

The accompanying explanatory statement to the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2008,[Footnote 55] mandates that we review the 
application and award process for Assistance to Firefighters Grant 
(AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) 
grants. Thus, we addressed the following questions: 

* To what extent has the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) met 
statutory and program requirements for distributing the grant funds to 
a variety of applicants and activities? 

* What actions has FEMA taken to provide assistance to grant applicants 
and involve the fire service community in the grant process? 

* To what extent has FEMA taken actions to help ensure the fire grant 
process and related guidance are accessible, clear, and consistent with 
applicable statutory and program requirements? 

To review the extent to which FEMA met statutory and program 
requirements for distributing fire grants to a variety of applicants 
and activities, we reviewed relevant statutory requirements from 
sections 33 and 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 
1974 (called the Fire Act and the SAFER Act, respectively, for purposes 
of this report). Based upon these statutes, we identified a total of 
eight statutory requirements that established specific percentages or 
dollar amounts designating how FEMA was to distribute funds among 
different grant applicants and activities. We also identified three 
relevant program requirements established in FEMA's grant guidance for 
the AFG, SAFER and Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grant programs, 
which related to distributing grant funds among different categories of 
activities and applicants.[Footnote 56] We then compared these 
statutory and program requirements to FEMA grant award data that 
stratified awards based on the type of fire department: volunteer, 
career, or combination[Footnote 57]--and based on the type of activity, 
such as awards for vehicle acquisitions. FEMA began maintaining 
electronic fire grant award data in fiscal year 2002. FEMA's fire grant 
award data are current as of July 2009, at which time FEMA was in the 
process of awarding fiscal year 2007 FP&S grants and fiscal year 2008 
AFG and SAFER grants. These years were the latest for which grants had 
been awarded at the time of our review and for which we were able to 
determine FEMA's compliance with statutory and program funding 
distribution requirements.[Footnote 58] In addition to analyzing 
compliance issues, we also analyzed FEMA's annual listings of 
applications and awards for the AFG and FP&S grant programs from fiscal 
years 2002[Footnote 59] through 2008 and SAFER grant program from 
fiscal years 2005[Footnote 60] through 2008 to provide descriptive 
information on a number of other characteristics, such as the type of 
community served by the applicant--urban, suburban, or rural. We 
provided descriptive information on the type of community served 
because the Fire Act requires FEMA to distribute AFG grants to a 
variety of different fire departments based on such characteristics as 
the type of community served, although the statute did not provide a 
specific percentage of funds against which we could evaluate compliance 
for the community-based requirement. We also determined the number of 
times that departments have applied for and been awarded grants. The 
descriptive information regarding the distribution of grant awards 
appears in appendixes V through X and appendix XIII of this report. To 
assess the reliability of data provided by FEMA, we reviewed and 
discussed the sources of data with agency officials. We determined that 
the data were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this report. 

To determine the actions FEMA has taken to provide assistance to grant 
applicants and involve the fire service community in the grant process, 
we collected and reviewed pertinent FEMA documents, such as program 
guidance, and observed FEMA's fiscal year 2010 criteria development 
panel process and the fiscal year 2008 FP&S peer review panel process. 
We conducted interviews with officials from FEMA and the nine fire 
service organizations to determine the type of information FEMA 
provides to applicants on the grant application and review 
process.[Footnote 61] We analyzed the methods FEMA uses to inform 
applicants about the fire grant programs, including the various types 
of outreach and assistance that the agency provides to applicants. 
Specifically, we reviewed information on grant-writing workshops, 
online tutorials, technical support, and mentoring, among other forms 
of applicant outreach, and reviewed the contract between the North 
American Fire Training Directors and FEMA to provide additional grant- 
writing assistance to applicants. We also conducted interviews with 
officials from FEMA, the U.S. Fire Administration, and the nine fire 
service organizations to understand how FEMA establishes criteria for 
awarding grants to applicants. We analyzed the information regarding 
FEMA's procedures for selecting peer reviewers; the training that 
panelists receive before reviewing applications; and the measures FEMA 
takes to ensure that peer review panelists maintain independence, 
safeguard against any conflict of interest, and adhere to restrictions 
related to confidentiality. We analyzed peer review guidance and other 
AFG Program Office documents, such as the criteria development reports 
and panel application evaluation sheets, to determine the process 
through which peer reviewers score grant applications. We collected and 
analyzed information pertaining to the technical review process and 
observed the fiscal year 2008 FP&S subject matter specialists' portion 
of the technical review to determine how FEMA incorporates scores from 
the technical reviewers and makes final award decisions. 

To evaluate the extent to which FEMA has taken actions to help ensure 
that the fire grant process and related guidance are accessible, clear, 
and consistent with applicable statutory and program requirements, we 
reviewed FEMA's methods of publishing grant guidance online and the 
online applications. We also identified statutory requirements 
pertaining to information applicants are required to submit in their 
fire grant applications and analyzed FEMA's fiscal year 2008 grant 
guidance and application forms to determine whether they consistently 
instructed applicants to submit the statutorily required information. 
We obtained and analyzed FEMA AFG Program Office documents, such as the 
scoring matrix and documents describing the prescreening process. We 
analyzed and compared the fire grant programs' funding priorities 
contained in fiscal year 2008 AFG and SAFER grant guidance and 2007 
FP&S grant guidance with the application questions and the scoring 
matrix to determine the extent to which they were consistent based on 
criteria from the National Procurement Fraud Task Force.[Footnote 62] 
To determine whether FEMA's process for issuing grant guidance had 
adequate controls, we obtained and analyzed testimonial information 
regarding the approval and issuance of the program and application 
guidance for fiscal year 2008 for the AFG and SAFER programs and for 
fiscal years 2007 and 2008 for the FP&S grant program. We also 
developed a timeline depicting the grant application and review 
process. We compared the agency's process for documenting and 
monitoring the guidance approval process with criteria in Standards for 
Internal Control in the Federal Government.[Footnote 63] Through our 
analysis of grant program documents for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 and 
our interviews with officials from the Office of Management and Budget, 
the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and FEMA, we obtained obtain 
information about the approval and issuance of the program and 
application guidance as well as how grant decisions are announced. We 
analyzed the procedures that FEMA uses to announce grant decisions and 
the type of feedback it provides to unsuccessful applicants and 
determined the circumstances under which applicants may appeal FEMA's 
grant decisions. We compared the views of a nonprobability sample of 36 
randomly selected fire grant applicants regarding feedback to 
unsuccessful candidates, and reviewed the National Academy of Public 
Administration 2007 assessment of the AFG program.[Footnote 64] 

From June 22 through June 29, 2009, we conducted structured interviews 
by phone with fire chiefs and other officials knowledgeable about the 
fire grants program from a nonprobability sample of 36 randomly 
selected fire grant applicants that did or did not receive fiscal year 
2008 funding for the AFG and SAFER grants and fiscal year 2007 funding 
for the FP&S grants. We obtained their perspectives on the application 
and award process. The sample included fire grant applicants across the 
continental United States and Alaska. We obtained a list of the 
universe of applicants from FEMA for the respective fiscal years, from 
which we randomly selected fire departments within seven grant 
categories: (1) awarded AFG applicant, (2) turned down AFG applicant 
following the peer review panel process, (3) turned down AFG applicant 
following the initial electronic screening process, (4) awarded FP&S 
applicant, (5) turned down FP&S applicant following the peer review 
panel process, (6) awarded SAFER applicant, and (7) turned down SAFER 
applicant following the peer review panel process. We conducted two 
pretest interviews in person with representatives of fire departments 
in South Carolina and Pennsylvania to further refine our questions. An 
independent GAO methodologist reviewed our questionnaire to identify 
and revise potentially biased questions. Although we are not able to 
generalize the results of the nonprobability sample to the general 
population of applicants, the questionnaire allowed for a series of 
open-ended and close-ended responses on the grant application and award 
process, including questions on the perceived fairness and objectivity 
of the grant programs. Because of the scope of our work, we reviewed 
the fire grant programs' application and award process, but did not 
assess the extent to which FEMA measures its performance in 
implementing these fire grant programs. 

We conducted this performance audit from January 2009 through October 
2009 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit 
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 
To assess the reliability of data provided by DHS and FEMA on the fire 
grant applicants, review criteria, and award procedures, we reviewed 
and discussed the sources of data with agency officials. We determined 
that the data were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of our 
review, and that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for 
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Statutory Requirements for Fire Grants: 

The AFG, FP&S, and SAFER grant programs are authorized to award funds 
for a range of purposes to various eligible organizations. Statutory 
requirements pertaining to each grant program are shown in table 6. 

Table 6: AFG, FP&S, and SAFER Statutory Requirements: 

Statutory authority; 
AFG: Section 33 of Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, 15 
U.S.C. § 2229 (Fire Act); 
FP&S: Section 33 of Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, 15 
U.S.C. § 2229 (Fire Act); 
SAFER: Section 34 of Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, 
15 U.S.C. § 2229a (SAFER Act); (Program has a 10-year sunset; the 
authority to make grants ends on November 24, 2013.) 

Purposes; 
AFG: Hiring firefighters; Training firefighters; Creating rapid 
intervention teams; Certifying fire inspectors; Establishing 
firefighter wellness and fitness programs; Funding emergency medical 
services (EMS) (at least 3.5 percent of appropriation); Acquiring 
firefighting vehicles (no more than 25 percent of appropriation); 
Acquiring firefighting equipment; Acquiring personal protective 
equipment; Modifying firefighter facilities; Enforcing fire codes; 
Educating the public about arson prevention and detection; Providing 
recruitment and retention incentives for volunteer firefighters; 
FP&S: Activities: Fire prevention and safety: Grants to fund fire 
prevention programs; Firefighter safety research and development (R&D): 
Grants to fund research to improve firefighter health and life safety; 
SAFER: Activities: Hiring grants: Hiring firefighters to meet industry 
standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate fire 
protection and fulfill traditional firefighting missions; Recruitment 
and retention (R&R) grants: Recruiting and retaining volunteer 
firefighters who have experience or training in both firefighting and 
emergency response. 

Eligible recipients; 
AFG: Fire departments (volunteer, combined, and career); Nonaffiliated 
EMS organizations (nonprofit EMS organizations that are not affiliated 
with a hospital and that serve an area without adequate EMS protection 
by a fire department); 
FP&S: For fire prevention and safety grants: Fire departments; Non-fire 
department organizations that specialize in fire prevention, fire 
safety, and firefighter R&D; For R&D Grants: Non-fire department 
organizations that specialize in fire prevention, fire safety, and 
firefighter R&D; 
SAFER: For hiring grants: Fire departments (volunteer, combined, and 
career); For R&R grants: Fire departments (volunteer or combined, but 
not career); Local or state organizations that represent the interests 
of volunteer firefighters. 

Recipient limitations (per grant); 
AFG: Population based: Population under 500,000: $1 million (may be 
waived based on extraordinary need); Population from 500,000 to 1 
million: $1.75 million (may be waived based on extraordinary need); 
Population over 1 million: $2.75 million (no waiver); Total 
distribution: Total grants for a single recipient for a single fiscal 
year may not exceed $2.75 million or 0.5 percent of appropriation, 
whichever is less (no waiver); 
FP&S: No FP&S grant may exceed $1 million; 
SAFER: Hiring grants: $100,000 per firefighter over 4 years, with 
annual adjustment for inflation starting fiscal year 2005.[A] (Hiring 
grants are to supplement, not supplant, state and local funds); Both 
grants: No grant if the applicant's budget has been reduced below 80 
percent of its average funding level in the 3 years before the 
statute's enactment.[A] 

Nonfederal match; 
AFG: Population based: Population under 20,000: 5 percent; Population 
from 20,000 to 50,000: 10 percent; Population above 50,000: 20 percent; 
FP&S: Population based for fire departments: Population under 20,000: 5 
percent; Population from 20,000 to 50,000: 10 percent; Population above 
50,000: 20 percent; No match for non-fire departments; 
SAFER: Hiring grants: Escalating nonfederal match over 4-year grant 
period: Year 1: 10 percent; Year 2: 20 percent; Year 3: 50 percent; 
Year 4: 70 percent; Preference may be given to applicants that offer a 
higher nonfederal match[B]; Applicant must commit to retaining funded 
firefighters for 1 year after federal assistance ends[A]; R&R grants: 
No match specified. 

Award procedure; 
AFG: Annual meeting of criteria development panel; Annual grant 
guidelines published in the Federal Register; Applications must address 
financial need, cost-benefit analysis, national fire incident reporting 
systems data, and other federal support received by applicant; 
* EMS organizations: FEMA shall consider the extent to which other 
sources of federal funding are available to provide the requested 
assistance; 
* Fire departments: Criteria must include extent to which grant would 
enhance applicant's daily operations and grant's impact on protection 
of lives and property; 
Peer review evaluation; Grant awards by FEMA; 
FP&S: Annual meeting of criteria development panel; Annual grant 
guidelines published in the Federal Register; Applications must address 
financial need, cost-benefit analysis, national fire incident reporting 
systems data, and other federal support received by applicant; Peer 
review evaluation; Grant awards by FEMA; 
SAFER: Both grants: While the statute does not require an annual 
meeting of the criteria development panel, or annual grant guidelines 
published in the Federal Register, FEMA follows this procedure for 
SAFER grants; Statute requires applicants to address; 
* inability to meet need without federal assistance; 
* long-term retention plans, including--for hiring grants--how 
applicant will meet the 1-year service commitment for funded 
firefighters after federal assistance ends; and; 
* commitment to diversity in hiring; 
Hiring grants: Applicant must also address how it will ensure 
nondiscrimination against firefighters who engage in volunteer 
activities in another jurisdiction during off-duty hours; Peer review 
evaluation. Grant awards by FEMA. 

Funding distribution to different applicants and activities[C]; 
AFG: Fire departments: Statute generally requires diversity based on 
type of fire department and community served. More specifically, 
statute requires that volunteer and combined fire departments receive a 
proportion of the total grant funding that is not less than the 
proportion of the U.S. population protected by those fire departments. 
Vehicle acquisition: Not more than 25 percent of appropriation. EMS 
services: At least 3.5 percent of appropriation (but nonaffiliated EMS 
organizations can only receive up to 2 percent of appropriation; fire 
departments eligible for the rest). A total of $3 million to be made 
available for foam firefighting equipment in remote areas through 
fiscal year 2008[D]; 
FP&S: At least 5 percent of AFG appropriation; 
SAFER: Hiring grants: Ten percent of appropriation to be set aside for 
volunteer fire departments (whole or majority). R&R grants: At least 10 
percent of appropriation. (R&R grants also get any unused funds under 
the 10 percent hiring grant set-aside). 

FEMA program administration[E]; 
AFG: Program administration for AFG and FP&S may account for up to 3 
percent of AFG appropriation; 
FP&S: Program administration for AFG and FP&S may account for up to 3 
percent of AFG appropriation; 
SAFER: No amount specified for program administration in SAFER Act. 

Source: GAO. 

[A] The Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. No. 11-32, 123 
Stat. 1859, 1882 (2009), authorized the Secretary of Homeland Security 
to grant waivers from this SAFER Act requirement in making grants for 
fiscal years 2009 or 2010. 

[B] The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-
5, Div. A., Title VI, § 603, 123 Stat. 115, 165 (2009), waived the 
SAFER Act's nonfederal match requirement for grant funds appropriated 
in fiscal years 2009 or 2010. 

[C] Funding distribution is based on funds appropriated under either 
section 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (AFG 
and FP&S grants) or section 34 of the same act (SAFER grants). 

[D] The $3 million dollar funding requirement for foam firefighting 
equipment was enacted on December 6, 2003, as part of the United States 
Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2003, Pub. L. No. 108-169, § 
205, 117 Stat. 2036, 2040 (2003). 

[E] Annual appropriations acts have included different language for 
FEMA program administration than the authorizing statutes. For example, 
beginning in fiscal year 2005, annual appropriations acts have provided 
that program administration may not exceed 5 percent of the combined 
appropriation for activities under section 33 and section 34 of the 
Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, which encompasses all 
three fire grant programs (AFG, FP&S, and SAFER). 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Mission, Membership, and Description of Fire Service 
Organizations: 

Officials from the nine fire service organizations participate in the 
criteria development panel to recommend changes to the upcoming year's 
grant priorities, as well as nominate members to serve on the peer 
review panel. The organizations' missions and memberships represent a 
range of interests within the fire service community. (See table 7.) 

Table 7: Mission, Membership, and Description of Fire Service 
Organizations: 

Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI)[A]; 
Mission: To educate members of Congress about fire and life safety 
issues; 
Membership: Forty-two national organization members who are 
firefighters, emergency services responders, manufacturers, or fire 
service leaders; 
Description: CFSI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy institute 
incorporated in Delaware in 1989. It educates and lobbies Congress on 
the basic needs and training of firefighters and emergency responders. 
The Congressional Fire Services Caucus has about 300 members. 

International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI); 
Mission: To improve the professional development of fire and explosion 
investigators by being the global resource for fire investigation 
training, technology, and research; 
Membership: 7,500 fire and explosive investigators; 
Description: IAAI is a nonprofit association located in Crofton, Md., 
that provides resources for training, research, and technology for fire 
investigators around the world. The IAAI Foundation, Inc., seeks to 
improve arson prevention programs. 

International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)[B]; 
Mission: To provide leadership to career and volunteer chiefs, chief 
fire officers, company officers, and managers of emergency service 
organizations throughout the international community--through vision, 
information, education, services, and representation--to enhance their 
professionalism and capabilities; 
Membership: Roughly 12,500 chief fire and emergency officers. IAFC is a 
professional association of individuals who conduct fire 
investigations. IAFC provides resources for training, research, and 
technology for fire investigators around the world; 
Description: IAFC is a nonprofit association formed in 1873 and 
headquartered in Fairfax, Va. IAFC provides a forum to exchange ideas 
and materials on fire safety and wellness, management guidance and 
compliance, and training. It facilitates the criteria development 
panels. 

International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF); 
Mission: To organize firefighters and emergency medical or rescue 
workers and lobby on behalf of their interests in the areas of 
compensation, work environment, education, and safety; 
Membership: There are over 292,000 full-time professional firefighters 
and paramedics, and more than 3,100 affiliates and their members in the 
United States and in Canada. IAFF also represents state and federal 
employees and fire and emergency medical workers employed at certain 
industrial facilities; 
Description: Formed in 1918 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., IAFF 
is a union that lobbies Congress and the Canadian Parliament on such 
issues as collective bargaining rights, staffing, line-of-duty deaths, 
health care, pensions, training, and equipment. In 2003, the 
association supported SAFER grant legislation to help pay for the costs 
associated with hiring new staff. 

International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI); 
Mission: To develop fire instructors and trainers who prepare 
firefighters to protect their communities; 
Membership: There are over 1,000 members who are fire service 
instructors and training officers, and thousands of members in state 
chapters and internationally; 
Description: ISFSI represents fire service instructors across the 
United States and supports them with networking opportunities and 
resources needed for instruction. However, ISFSI does not provide 
direct training or instruction on grant-writing programs. Located in 
Pleasant View, Tenn., ISFSI advocates on behalf of instructors' 
perspectives on legislative and regulatory issues, and it provides 
representation on standards committees and steering groups. 

North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD); 
Mission: To promote the common interests of providing a quality fire 
training and educational experience for firefighters; 
Membership: There is one member for each U.S. state and territory and 
each Canadian province, typically located in a university or state 
government office. Members serve as points of contact for fire training 
and education; 
Description: NAFTD serves as a forum for the enhancement of state, 
provincial, and territorial fire training and education for fire and 
rescue services and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. In 2009, FEMA 
signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the association to 
conduct grant application training for fire departments. The MOU 
provides $250,000 for training, which is to be divided among the 
states. 

National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM); 
Mission: To protect human life, property, and the environment from 
fire. To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state fire 
marshals' operations; 
Membership: Members are state fire marshals, who are the most senior 
fire officials. Most members are appointed by their governors; 
Description: Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NASFM promotes 
standards, codes, and regulations for improved fire safety of consumer 
products, building materials, and construction; provides training for 
code enforcement officials; educates the public on fire prevention; and 
advocates for fire safety. 

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); 
Mission: To reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on 
the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and 
standards, research, training, and education; 
Membership: Worldwide membership of more than 81,000, including 80 
national trade and professional organizations; 
Description: NFPA is an international nonprofit membership association 
established in 1896 and headquartered in Quincy, Mass. It has developed 
and published over 300 consensus codes and standards, and offers 
statistical and data services through its Fire Analysis and Research 
Division, including needs assessments of the U.S. fire service, for DHS 
and USFA. 

National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC); 
Mission: To provide a unified voice for volunteer fire/EMS 
organizations; 
Membership: Comprises 49 state fire associations. Each appoints a 
member to serve as its state director and another member to serve as 
state alternate director. These individuals make up NVFC's Board of 
Directors. NVFC represents 25,000 to 30,000 fire departments, which 
include all volunteer and some combination departments; 
Description: Headquartered in Greenbelt, Md., NVFC is a nonprofit 
association representing volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue service 
organizations. It promotes the interests of state and local 
organizations at the national level and provides education for 
volunteer fire/EMS organizations. It also serves as an information 
source on legislation, standards, and regulatory issues and provides 
resources to fire departments. 

Source: GAO. 

Note: FEMA invites the cognizant organizations' officials to 
participate in the criteria development panel, and the officials are to 
provide FEMA with a list of nominations of organization members to 
serve on the peer review panels. Although there are both new and 
returning participants in the criteria development panels and peer 
review panels, returning peer review panelists are not to exceed 50 
percent of the total number of participants. Organizations are eligible 
to receive FP&S grants, but not AFG or SAFER grants. 

[A] CFSI is the only organization that is ineligible to receive FP&S 
grants because of restrictions in its charter. 

[B] FEMA compensates IAFC through its allowable administrative cost 
under the AFG grant to facilitate the criteria development panels. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: Application and Award Process for Fire Grants: 

The AFG, FP&S, and SAFER grant programs are evaluated in three phases 
of review. The first phase is an automated scoring process to select 
competitive AFG grant applications, or a prescreening process for FP&S 
and SAFER grants. The second phase for all grants is a peer review 
panel process to evaluate the extent to which an application aligns 
with the grant year's funding priorities and meets the programs' goals 
and objectives. The third phase is a technical review panel process to 
determine technical feasibility, avoid duplication with state 
initiatives, and make any modifications to the potential award. 

Automated Scoring and Prescreening Process: 

After the application period is closed, all fire grant applications 
undergo either an automated scoring process, where each application is 
ranked relative to the funding priorities described in the guidance, or 
a prescreening process, where each application is screened for 
eligibility. For example, for the AFG and SAFER grant programs, the AFG 
Program Office creates a scoring formula (following the criteria 
development panel's scoring matrix), which is then entered into a 
computerized system by FEMA's Information Technology Office. Through 
this formula, each application is scored and ranked electronically. For 
the AFG program, if an application for a project has a high-dollar item 
or activity that was ranked as a low priority, that item or activity 
may have adversely affected the scoring and thus may have taken the 
application out of the competitive range for peer review. FEMA 
officials stated that because more than 21,000 AFG applications are 
submitted every year and the AFG Program Office does not have the 
resources to review all of the applications, the number of applications 
it submits for peer review is the number of applications with the 
highest scores whose cumulative funding requests total 200 percent of 
the appropriated funding. In other words, AFG grants that go to peer 
review can total no more than twice the dollar value of the available 
grant amount. 

SAFER applications also undergo an automated scoring and ranking 
process; however, FEMA submits all of them for peer review (1,314 
applications for fiscal year 2008). Applications that best address the 
funding priorities score higher than applications that do not. Unlike 
the AFG automated scoring, which is used for the sole purpose of 
selecting applications for peer review, the automated score for SAFER 
grants accounts for one-half of the overall consideration provided each 
application, with the peer review accounting for the balance of the 
consideration. 

Unlike AFG and SAFER grants, FP&S applications do not undergo an 
automated scoring and ranking process. Because of the smaller size of 
the FP&S program and the more technical and academic nature of some 
FP&S requests, the AFG Program Office manually screens for eligibility 
all applications submitted for the two FP&S activities, which are fire 
prevention and safety grants and R&D grants. Both the applicants and 
the projects are screened for eligibility based on statutory and 
programmatic eligibility criteria, and those found ineligible are 
removed from further consideration before the peer review process. For 
example, for-profit applicants and projects requesting fire suppression 
equipment or fire vehicles are considered ineligible. According to an 
AFG Program Office section chief, out of 2,637 FP&S applications 
submitted for fiscal year 2008 funding, 170 applications were 
considered ineligible before the peer review panel process and another 
16 applications were found ineligible during the peer review and 
therefore were not scored. 

Peer Review Process: 

Peer review panel participants are fire service professionals who are 
members of one or more of the nine major fire service organizations. 
The panel's goal is to evaluate the extent to which an application 
aligns with the grant year's funding priorities and meets the programs' 
goals and objectives. The AFG Program Office officials explained that 
FEMA requests that each organization nominate members to serve as peer 
review panelists. FEMA also sends letters to subgroups within the 
organizations that represent minorities to receive nominations to help 
diversify the panel. Although the officials select both new and 
returning panelists to review applications in any or all three grant 
categories, they attempt to limit returning panelists to no more than 
one-third of the total panel composition. However, FEMA may invite more 
experienced panelists if there are not enough confirmed attendees. 

In the orientation for the peer review of fiscal year 2008 FP&S 
applications, new panelists completed a review of two mock applications 
and discussed them as a group to familiarize themselves with the review 
process. These simulated exercises for new panelists occur for the AFG 
and SAFER panels as well. 

For fiscal year 2008 SAFER hiring grants, panelists also scored 
applications numerically according to six evaluation factors stated in 
their score sheets, which were the extent to which the application 
described (1) a plan to use firefighters and the specific benefit these 
firefighters will provide for the fire department and the community, 
(2) a risk to the community and current firefighters that will be 
significantly reduced with grant funding, (3) the need for financial 
assistance, (4) a plan to recruit and hire minorities and women, (5) a 
long-range plan to make the nonfederal match and retain firefighters, 
and (6) a policy to prevent discrimination against firefighters who 
volunteer for other departments. For SAFER recruitment and retention 
grants, only the first four evaluation factors apply.[Footnote 65] 

For fiscal year 2008 FP&S applications, panelists scored applications 
for the fire prevention and safety activity based on six evaluation 
factors stated in their score sheets using adjectives ranging from 
"Strongly Agree" to "Strongly Disagree," which the AFG Program Office 
subsequently converts to numerical scores. The evaluation sheet 
contains six detailed evaluation factors: (1) financial need, (2) 
vulnerability statement, (3) implementation plan, (4) project 
evaluation plan, (5) sustainability, and (6) cost-benefit analysis. 
[Footnote 66] For the FP&S research and development activity, panelists 
scored applications reflecting the degree to which they addressed the 
following evaluation factors: (1) study purpose(s), goals and 
objectives, and specific aims; (2) scientific and technical merit of 
the proposed research; (3) dissemination and implementation; (4) 
resources--people and time; (5) protection for human subjects; (6) 
financial need; and (7) impact on firefighter safety.[Footnote 67] 

Automated Scoring and Prescreening Process Results in Some Applications 
Not Undergoing Peer Review: 

In the House report accompanying DHS's fiscal year 2008 appropriations 
bill, the House Committee on Appropriations raised concerns about the 
number of fire grant applications that did not reach the peer review 
stage (9,268 out of 20,972 according to the House report).[Footnote 68] 
In the subsequent explanatory statement accompanying DHS's fiscal year 
2008 appropriations act, both the House and Senate appropriations 
committees directed FEMA to provide fire grant applicants whose 
applications were not selected for peer review an official notification 
detailing the reasons for their rejection.[Footnote 69] A program 
specialist responsible for administering the AFG and SAFER grant 
programs stated that the agency sent all AFG applicants that submitted 
applications that were not peer reviewed a letter notifying them that 
their applications were not among those selected for the second phase 
of the competitive review. The letter explained that during the second 
phase, those applications that best addressed AFG's established funding 
priorities for each eligible activity were approved and forwarded for 
peer review and that the objective of peer review is to further ensure 
the best use of grant funds. According to AFG Program Office officials, 
in fiscal year 2008, about 21,000 AFG applications were submitted, of 
which 8,000 were subsequently not selected for peer review. FEMA 
offered the applicants an opportunity to receive a more detailed 
explanation. The officials stated that applicants that submitted about 
7,000 of these applications[Footnote 70] requested additional 
information, and four FEMA contractors spent about 4 months gathering 
the information needed to send electronic responses to these applicants 
to clarify specifically why the applications did not meet the criteria 
for peer review. 

To determine the types of applicants whose applications were rejected 
before the peer review process, we reviewed data provided by FEMA. For 
fiscal year 2008, we found that 4,489 applicants (or about 29 percent) 
of the 15,544 applicants were turned down for all applications they 
submitted for AFG funds through the automated scoring process, and 
consequently none of their applications were peer reviewed.[Footnote 
71] Appendix XIII contains more detailed information about unsuccessful 
fire grant applicants by department type and community service area. 

Technical Review Process: 

Fire grant applications that receive the highest scores by the peer 
review panels are submitted for technical review. The technical review 
process consists of reviews made by subject matter specialists, the AFG 
Program Office or grants management specialists, or state homeland 
security representatives. The AFG Program Office has a group of subject 
matter specialists who review each potential award application to 
ensure that the project is technically feasible and that the 
application does not contain projects, activities, or items that are 
ineligible or otherwise not worthy of funding. In addition, they 
identify potential modifications to projects that would enhance the 
overall award, and identify applications that have scored outside the 
fundable range but should receive the award. The subject matter 
specialists review the entire application as well as the panelists' 
comments. Once they have completed their review, the AFG Program Office 
staff reviews each potential award before making a recommendation on 
whether to award a grant to the applicant. The AFG Program Office staff 
assesses the findings from the previous reviews, determines whether any 
duplicate applications exist, and validates the eligibility of both the 
applicant and the items requested. 

Following the review by the AFG Program Office staff, grant 
applications that have been recommended for award are submitted to 
grants management specialists in FEMA's Grants Management Division. 
These specialists are responsible for reviewing the financial 
information in applications and for ensuring that the requested amounts 
are reasonable and calculated correctly. They also ensure that 
applicants have provided responses to a questionnaire that the Grants 
Management Division sends to applicants. The questionnaire solicits 
information such as whether any proposed reductions in the requested 
amount in the grant applications are acceptable and if the applicant is 
a recipient of other federal grants. These responses to the 
questionnaire, which are supplemental to the grant application, are 
processed internally by the Grants Management Division. The Grants 
Management Division might contact the grantee for additional follow-up 
or send the application back to the AFG Program Office, as appropriate. 
According to grants management specialists, their review typically 
requires only a couple of hours, but the approval process might take as 
long as a month or more, depending on how long applicants take to 
respond to the questionnaire and the extent to which follow-up 
information is necessary. Once the specialists approve the recommended 
applications for award, the applications are sent to the assistance 
officers in the Grants Management Division for approval, at which point 
the assistance officers obligate the awards. 

Grant Awards Process: 

Although FEMA generally makes funding decisions using rank-order 
results from the peer review panel evaluation, it may deviate from the 
panel's scores and make funding decisions based on the type of 
department (career, combination, or volunteer), the size and character 
of the community the applicant serves (urban, suburban, or rural), or 
both to satisfy statutory and programmatic funding goals.[Footnote 72] 
State homeland security offices may also review applications to ensure 
that the relevant proposed projects do not duplicate existing statewide 
programs. Since the number of submitted application requests exceeds 
the appropriated funding, applications reviewed within this final stage 
may not be awarded grants, despite falling within the fundable range. 

FEMA announces these awards over several months as decisions are made, 
but does not make the awards in any specified order (i.e., by state, 
program, or any other characteristic). Awards are made until the 
funding is exhausted or the appropriation has expired. 

[End of section] 

Appendix V: AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Applicants and Award Distribution by 
State: 

Tables 8 and 9 show the AFG and SAFER applicants and award breakdown, 
respectively, by state for fiscal year 2008. Table 10 shows the FP&S 
applicants and award breakdown for fiscal year 2007. 

Table 8: AFG Applicants and Award Breakdown by State for Fiscal Year 
2008: 

State: Alabama; 
Number of applicants per state: 535; 
Number of awardees per state: 227; 
Amount awarded per state: $22,276,969; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 5; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 5. 

State: Alaska; 
Number of applicants per state: 42; 
Number of awardees per state: 12; 
Amount awarded per state: $990,051; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Arizona; 
Number of applicants per state: 127; 
Number of awardees per state: 37; 
Amount awarded per state: $4,287,251; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Arkansas; 
Number of applicants per state: 295; 
Number of awardees per state: 66; 
Amount awarded per state: $6,660,857; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: California; 
Number of applicants per state: 408; 
Number of awardees per state: 149; 
Amount awarded per state: $24,154,708; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 5. 

State: Colorado; 
Number of applicants per state: 134; 
Number of awardees per state: 28; 
Amount awarded per state: $2,265,389; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Connecticut; 
Number of applicants per state: 182; 
Number of awardees per state: 51; 
Amount awarded per state: $6,781,557; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Delaware; 
Number of applicants per state: 25; 
Number of awardees per state: 4; 
Amount awarded per state: $219,989; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: District of Columbia; 
Number of applicants per state: 1; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,171,200; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Florida; 
Number of applicants per state: 220; 
Number of awardees per state: 65; 
Amount awarded per state: $6,573,027; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Georgia; 
Number of applicants per state: 287; 
Number of awardees per state: 75; 
Amount awarded per state: $7,741,627; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Guam; 
Number of applicants per state: 1; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Hawaii; 
Number of applicants per state: 3; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $772,631; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Idaho; 
Number of applicants per state: 95; 
Number of awardees per state: 22; 
Amount awarded per state: $2,428,091; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Illinois; 
Number of applicants per state: 631; 
Number of awardees per state: 207; 
Amount awarded per state: $19,960,699; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 5; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: Indiana; 
Number of applicants per state: 367; 
Number of awardees per state: 116; 
Amount awarded per state: $12,054,648; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Iowa; 
Number of applicants per state: 404; 
Number of awardees per state: 93; 
Amount awarded per state: $8,805,654; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Kansas; 
Number of applicants per state: 205; 
Number of awardees per state: 54; 
Amount awarded per state: $3,623,808; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Kentucky; 
Number of applicants per state: 459; 
Number of awardees per state: 132; 
Amount awarded per state: $16,392,887; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: Louisiana; 
Number of applicants per state: 211; 
Number of awardees per state: 62; 
Amount awarded per state: $5,977,714; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Maine; 
Number of applicants per state: 201; 
Number of awardees per state: 54; 
Amount awarded per state: $4,490,287; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Maryland; 
Number of applicants per state: 164; 
Number of awardees per state: 48; 
Amount awarded per state: $5,392,930; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Massachusetts; 
Number of applicants per state: 238; 
Number of awardees per state: 87; 
Amount awarded per state: $8,603,909; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Michigan; 
Number of applicants per state: 567; 
Number of awardees per state: 161; 
Amount awarded per state: $13,909,589; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Minnesota; 
Number of applicants per state: 402; 
Number of awardees per state: 149; 
Amount awarded per state: $11,832,600; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Mississippi; 
Number of applicants per state: 312; 
Number of awardees per state: 79; 
Amount awarded per state: $7,480,139; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Missouri; 
Number of applicants per state: 380; 
Number of awardees per state: 116; 
Amount awarded per state: $10,772,152; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Montana; 
Number of applicants per state: 144; 
Number of awardees per state: 41; 
Amount awarded per state: $4,112,281; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Nebraska; 
Number of applicants per state: 136; 
Number of awardees per state: 32; 
Amount awarded per state: $3,981,401; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Nevada; 
Number of applicants per state: 21; 
Number of awardees per state: 4; 
Amount awarded per state: $686,657; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: New Hampshire; 
Number of applicants per state: 96; 
Number of awardees per state: 26; 
Amount awarded per state: $2,623,388; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: New Jersey; 
Number of applicants per state: 478; 
Number of awardees per state: 111; 
Amount awarded per state: $11,715,646; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: New Mexico; 
Number of applicants per state: 72; 
Number of awardees per state: 11; 
Amount awarded per state: $966,542; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: New York; 
Number of applicants per state: 1,040; 
Number of awardees per state: 292; 
Amount awarded per state: $28,220,396; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 7; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 7; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 6. 

State: North Carolina; 
Number of applicants per state: 584; 
Number of awardees per state: 174; 
Amount awarded per state: $16,796,539; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: North Dakota; 
Number of applicants per state: 102; 
Number of awardees per state: 30; 
Amount awarded per state: 2,773,546; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Northern Marianas; 
Number of applicants per state: 2; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Ohio; 
Number of applicants per state: 772; 
Number of awardees per state: 238; 
Amount awarded per state: $24,770,332; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 5; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 5; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 5. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Number of applicants per state: 288; 
Number of awardees per state: 70; 
Amount awarded per state: $6,278,135; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Oregon; 
Number of applicants per state: 170; 
Number of awardees per state: 58; 
Amount awarded per state: $7,879,448; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Number of applicants per state: 1,698; 
Number of awardees per state: 422; 
Amount awarded per state: $37,301,086; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 11; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 9; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 8. 

State: Puerto Rico; 
Number of applicants per state: 7; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $74,080; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Rhode Island; 
Number of applicants per state: 51; 
Number of awardees per state: 12; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,378,341; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: South Carolina; 
Number of applicants per state: 305; 
Number of awardees per state: 93; 
Amount awarded per state: $10,271,719; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: South Dakota; 
Number of applicants per state: 142; 
Number of awardees per state: 21; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,933,547; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Tennessee; 
Number of applicants per state: 447; 
Number of awardees per state: 155; 
Amount awarded per state: $15,529,558; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Texas; 
Number of applicants per state: 579; 
Number of awardees per state: 147; 
Amount awarded per state: $18,382,319; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: Utah; 
Number of applicants per state: 93; 
Number of awardees per state: 19; 
Amount awarded per state: $909,108; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Vermont; 
Number of applicants per state: 83; 
Number of awardees per state: 13; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,046,581; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Virgin Islands; 
Number of applicants per state: 1; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Virginia; 
Number of applicants per state: 253; 
Number of awardees per state: 68; 
Amount awarded per state: $7,728,819; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Washington; 
Number of applicants per state: 256; 
Number of awardees per state: 101; 
Amount awarded per state: $11,437,238; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: West Virginia; 
Number of applicants per state: 258; 
Number of awardees per state: 64; 
Amount awarded per state: $6,642,017; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Wisconsin; 
Number of applicants per state: 524; 
Number of awardees per state: 175; 
Amount awarded per state: $13,830,445; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Wyoming; 
Number of applicants per state: 46; 
Number of awardees per state: 10; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,023,328; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Total; 
Number of applicants per state: 15,544; 
Number of awardees per state: 4,486; 
Amount awarded per state: $453,912,860. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Notes: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 funding are current as of 
July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants period closed on September 
30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. State category includes U.S. 
territories and the District of Columbia. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

Table 9: SAFER Applicants and Awards Breakdown by State for Fiscal Year 
2008: 

State: Alabama; 
Number of applicants per state: 31; 
Number of awardees per state: 7; 
Amount awarded per state: $6,418,057; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 5. 

State: Alaska; 
Number of applicants per state: 13; 
Number of awardees per state: 6; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,437,817; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Arizona; 
Number of applicants per state: 33; 
Number of awardees per state: 9; 
Amount awarded per state: $4,011,700; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Arkansas; 
Number of applicants per state: 14; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,873,118; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: California; 
Number of applicants per state: 44; 
Number of awardees per state: 7; 
Amount awarded per state: $3,738,490; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Colorado; 
Number of applicants per state: 21; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,642,576; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Connecticut; 
Number of applicants per state: 20; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $949,124; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Delaware; 
Number of applicants per state: 2; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $398,400; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0[B]; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0[C]; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0[D]. 

State: Florida; 
Number of applicants per state: 46; 
Number of awardees per state: 17; 
Amount awarded per state: $14,743,143; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 7; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 11. 

State: Georgia; 
Number of applicants per state: 39; 
Number of awardees per state: 7; 
Amount awarded per state: $8,935,070; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 7. 

State: Hawaii; 
Number of applicants per state: 2; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,625,700; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0[B]; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0[C]; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Idaho; 
Number of applicants per state: 14; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $309,121; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0[C]; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0[D]. 

State: Illinois; 
Number of applicants per state: 46; 
Number of awardees per state: 7; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,300,560; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Indiana; 
Number of applicants per state: 19; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $2,926,260; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Iowa; 
Number of applicants per state: 11; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Kansas; 
Number of applicants per state: 10; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,464,897; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Kentucky; 
Number of applicants per state: 27; 
Number of awardees per state: 4; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,335,180; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Louisiana; 
Number of applicants per state: 16; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $3,743,171; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Maine; 
Number of applicants per state: 10; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: $535,040; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Maryland; 
Number of applicants per state: 13; 
Number of awardees per state: 5; 
Amount awarded per state: $3,170,856; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Massachusetts; 
Number of applicants per state: 23; 
Number of awardees per state: 5; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,823,240; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Michigan; 
Number of applicants per state: 20; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $461,120; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0[D]. 

State: Minnesota; 
Number of applicants per state: 16; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $491,000; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0[C]; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0[D]. 

State: Mississippi; 
Number of applicants per state: 20; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: $875,408; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Missouri; 
Number of applicants per state: 31; 
Number of awardees per state: 6; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,549,494; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Montana; 
Number of applicants per state: 18; 
Number of awardees per state: 5; 
Amount awarded per state: $2,748,540; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Nebraska; 
Number of applicants per state: 3; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,950,840; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0[B]; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0[C]; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Nevada; 
Number of applicants per state: 6; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0[B]; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: New Hampshire; 
Number of applicants per state: 10; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $8,350; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: New Jersey; 
Number of applicants per state: 52; 
Number of awardees per state: 6; 
Amount awarded per state: $3,724,428; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: New Mexico; 
Number of applicants per state: 10; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $108,380; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0[C]; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0[D]. 

State: New York; 
Number of applicants per state: 83; 
Number of awardees per state: 14; 
Amount awarded per state: $3,579,579; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 6; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 5; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: North Carolina; 
Number of applicants per state: 88; 
Number of awardees per state: 28; 
Amount awarded per state: $12,437,424; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 7; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 11; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 9. 

State: North Dakota; 
Number of applicants per state: 9; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,518,520; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Northern Marianas; 
Number of applicants per state: 2; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0[B]; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Ohio; 
Number of applicants per state: 47; 
Number of awardees per state: 7; 
Amount awarded per state: $3,520,462; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Number of applicants per state: 17; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $622,624; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Oregon; 
Number of applicants per state: 22; 
Number of awardees per state: 5; 
Amount awarded per state: $2,015,452; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Number of applicants per state: 88; 
Number of awardees per state: 13; 
Amount awarded per state: $2,283,522; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 7; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 5; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Puerto Rico; 
Number of applicants per state: 1; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0[B]; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Rhode Island; 
Number of applicants per state: 4; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0[D]; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: South Carolina; 
Number of applicants per state: 36; 
Number of awardees per state: 6; 
Amount awarded per state: $4,397,811; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: South Dakota; 
Number of applicants per state: 11; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $48,000; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Tennessee; 
Number of applicants per state: 30; 
Number of awardees per state: 6; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,176,335; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Texas; 
Number of applicants per state: 82; 
Number of awardees per state: 17; 
Amount awarded per state: $12,574,961; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 6; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 7; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 9. 

State: Utah; 
Number of applicants per state: 22; 
Number of awardees per state: 5; 
Amount awarded per state: $3,304,763; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Vermont; 
Number of applicants per state: 1; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0[B]; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Virginia; 
Number of applicants per state: 18; 
Number of awardees per state: 4; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,373,796; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Washington; 
Number of applicants per state: 62; 
Number of awardees per state: 13; 
Amount awarded per state: $6,384,936; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 5; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 5; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 5. 

State: West Virginia; 
Number of applicants per state: 18; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Wisconsin; 
Number of applicants per state: 19; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $2,275,980; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Wyoming; 
Number of applicants per state: 5; 
Number of awardees per state: 4; 
Amount awarded per state: $2,329,174; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0[B]; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Total; 
Number of applicants per state: 1,305; 
Number of awardees per state: 255; 
Amount awarded per state: $134,142,419. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Notes: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 funding are current as of 
July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants period closed on September 
30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. State category includes Puerto 
Rico. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[B] Due to rounding, it represents less than 0.5 percent of total 
applicants. 

[C] Due to rounding, it represents less than 0.5 percent of total 
awardees. 

[D] Due to rounding, it represents less than 0.5 percent of total 
amount awarded. 

[End of table] 

Table 10: FP&S Applicants and Awards Breakdown by State for Fiscal Year 
2007: 

State: Alabama; 
Number of applicants per state: 58; 
Number of awardees per state: 7; 
Amount awarded per state: $227,665; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Alaska; 
Number of applicants per state: 15; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $13,500; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Arizona; 
Number of applicants per state: 42; 
Number of awardees per state: 8; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,454,191; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: Arkansas; 
Number of applicants per state: 21; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: $27,345; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: California; 
Number of applicants per state: 115; 
Number of awardees per state: 13; 
Amount awarded per state: $2,387,151; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 5; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 6; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 7. 

State: Colorado; 
Number of applicants per state: 33; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $289,975; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Connecticut; 
Number of applicants per state: 44; 
Number of awardees per state: 4; 
Amount awarded per state: $191,475; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Delaware; 
Number of applicants per state: 4; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $362,500; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: District of Columbia; 
Number of applicants per state: 11; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $2,157,899; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 6. 

State: Florida; 
Number of applicants per state: 80; 
Number of awardees per state: 7; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,489,251; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: Georgia; 
Number of applicants per state: 45; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $88,543; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Guam; 
Number of applicants per state: 1; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Hawaii; 
Number of applicants per state: 3; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Idaho; 
Number of applicants per state: 22; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: $17,640; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Illinois; 
Number of applicants per state: 111; 
Number of awardees per state: 9; 
Amount awarded per state: $3,056,161; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 9. 

State: Indiana; 
Number of applicants per state: 55; 
Number of awardees per state: 6; 
Amount awarded per state: $920,017; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Iowa; 
Number of applicants per state: 29; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $90,130; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Kansas; 
Number of applicants per state: 26; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: $42,583; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Kentucky; 
Number of applicants per state: 62; 
Number of awardees per state: 5; 
Amount awarded per state: $204,859; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Louisiana; 
Number of applicants per state: 47; 
Number of awardees per state: 6; 
Amount awarded per state: $859,596; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Maine; 
Number of applicants per state: 19; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $152,356; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Maryland; 
Number of applicants per state: 41; 
Number of awardees per state: 7; 
Amount awarded per state: $4,350,211; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 13. 

State: Massachusetts; 
Number of applicants per state: 65; 
Number of awardees per state: 5; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,515,733; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: Michigan; 
Number of applicants per state: 101; 
Number of awardees per state: 10; 
Amount awarded per state: $350,949; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 5; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Minnesota; 
Number of applicants per state: 34; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $171,669; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 1. 

State: Mississippi; 
Number of applicants per state: 39; 
Number of awardees per state: 5; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,343,325; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: Missouri; 
Number of applicants per state: 53; 
Number of awardees per state: 6; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,469,079; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: Montana; 
Number of applicants per state: 22; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Nebraska; 
Number of applicants per state: 15; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: $64,852; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Nevada; 
Number of applicants per state: 15; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $142,320; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: New Hampshire; 
Number of applicants per state: 23; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $23,818; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: New Jersey; 
Number of applicants per state: 94; 
Number of awardees per state: 6; 
Amount awarded per state: $111,343; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: New Mexico; 
Number of applicants per state: 13; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: New York; 
Number of applicants per state: 163; 
Number of awardees per state: 13; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,899,522; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 6; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 6; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 6. 

State: North Carolina; 
Number of applicants per state: 84; 
Number of awardees per state: 11; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,392,988; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 5; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: North Dakota; 
Number of applicants per state: 10; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $8,873; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Northern Marianas; 
Number of applicants per state: 1; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Ohio; 
Number of applicants per state: 144; 
Number of awardees per state: 9; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,268,207; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 6; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Number of applicants per state: 27; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: $30,660; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Oregon; 
Number of applicants per state: 46; 
Number of awardees per state: 4; 
Amount awarded per state: $859,015; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Number of applicants per state: 233; 
Number of awardees per state: 12; 
Amount awarded per state: $683,422; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 9; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 6; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

State: Puerto Rico; 
Number of applicants per state: 2; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Rhode Island; 
Number of applicants per state: 10; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: $147,333; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: South Carolina; 
Number of applicants per state: 42; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $23,893; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: South Dakota; 
Number of applicants per state: 6; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $121,670; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Tennessee; 
Number of applicants per state: 61; 
Number of awardees per state: 3; 
Amount awarded per state: $952,790; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3. 

State: Texas; 
Number of applicants per state: 101; 
Number of awardees per state: 6; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,295,561; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 4; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: Utah; 
Number of applicants per state: 19; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $11,697; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Vermont; 
Number of applicants per state: 6; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $12,454; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Virgin Islands; 
Number of applicants per state: 1; 
Number of awardees per state: 0; 
Amount awarded per state: 0; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Virginia; 
Number of applicants per state: 58; 
Number of awardees per state: 7; 
Amount awarded per state: $1,361,389; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4. 

State: Washington; 
Number of applicants per state: 50; 
Number of awardees per state: 5; 
Amount awarded per state: $97,859; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: West Virginia; 
Number of applicants per state: 31; 
Number of awardees per state: 2; 
Amount awarded per state: $101,280; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 1; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Wisconsin; 
Number of applicants per state: 59; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $13,534; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Wyoming; 
Number of applicants per state: 11; 
Number of awardees per state: 1; 
Amount awarded per state: $28,788; 
Percentage of total applicants[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total awardees[A]: 0; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

State: Total; 
Number of applicants per state: 2,523; 
Number of awardees per state: 215; 
Amount awarded per state: $33,887,071. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Notes: FP&S application and award numbers are for fiscal year 2007 
funding and reflect all fiscal year 2007 awards made through July 2009. 
No fiscal year 2008 FP&S grants had been awarded as of July 2009. State 
category includes U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix VI: Distribution of AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Awards by Department 
Type, Fiscal Years 2002 through 2008: 

Tables 11, 12, and 13 show the distribution of AFG, SAFER, and FP&S 
awards, respectively, from fiscal years 2002 to 2008 by department 
types (e.g., career, combination, volunteer, paid on call/stipend, or a 
combination of these). 

Table 11: Distribution of AFG Awards by Department Type for Fiscal 
Years 2002 through 2008: 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2002; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: $70,975,002; 
Department type: Combination: $80,591,004; 
Department type: Volunteer: $180,449,110; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: 0; 
Department type: Total: $332,015,115. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2002; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: 21; 
Department type: Combination: 24; 
Department type: Volunteer: 54; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: 0. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2003; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: $117,486,153; 
Department type: Combination: $150,940,511; 
Department type: Volunteer: $430,043,841; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: 0; 
Department type: Total: $698,470,505. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2003; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: 17; 
Department type: Combination: 22; 
Department type: Volunteer: 62; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: 0. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2004; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: $111,473,064; 
Department type: Combination: $152,205,706; 
Department type: Volunteer: $378,816,933; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: $30,385,478; 
Department type: Total: $672,881,182. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2004; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: 17; 
Department type: Combination: 23; 
Department type: Volunteer: 56; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: 5. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2005; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: $108,111,730; 
Department type: Combination: $144,726,028; 
Department type: Volunteer: $311,965,746; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: $31,745,810; 
Department type: Total: $596,549,314. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2005; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: 18; 
Department type: Combination: 24; 
Department type: Volunteer: 52; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: 5. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2006; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: $58,454,814; 
Department type: Combination: $121,880,485; 
Department type: Volunteer: $272,820,480; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: $31,442,977; 
Department type: Total: $484,598,756. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2006; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: 12; 
Department type: Combination: 25; 
Department type: Volunteer: 56; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: 6. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2007; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: $76,218,273; 
Department type: Combination: $142,548,951; 
Department type: Volunteer: $243,652,237; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: $30,729,293; 
Department type: Total: $493,148,754. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2007; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: 15; 
Department type: Combination: 29; 
Department type: Volunteer: 49; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: 6. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2008; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Department type: Career: $88,077,419; 
Department type: Combination: $122,344,945; 
Department type: Volunteer: $216,741,884; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: $26,748,612; 
Department type: Total: $453,912,860. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2008; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A];
Department type: Career: 19; 
Department type: Combination: 27; 
Department type: Volunteer: 48; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend: 6; 
Department type: Total: [Empty]. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 are current as of July 
2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants period closed on September 30, 
2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] The sum of the dollars awarded by department may not equal the 
total amount due to rounding. Some percentages may not equal 100 
percent due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

Table 12: Distribution of SAFER Awards by Department Type for Fiscal 
Years 2005 through 2008: 

Department type: Career; 
FY2005: Amount awarded: $32,133,168; 
FY2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 51; 
FY2006: Amount awarded: $43,607,369; 
FY2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 43; 
FY2007: Amount awarded: $35,486,504; 
FY2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 33; 
FY2008: Amount awarded: $68,188,502; 
FY2008: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 51. 

Department type: Combination; 
FY2005: Amount awarded: $25,218,789; 
FY2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 40; 
FY2006: Amount awarded: $47,125,704; 
FY2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 46; 
FY2007: Amount awarded: $60,656,387; 
FY2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 57; 
FY2008: Amount awarded: $51,407,312; 
FY2008: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 38. 

Department type: Volunteer; 
FY2005: Amount awarded: $4,805,687; 
FY2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 8; 
FY2006: Amount awarded: $7,370,261; 
FY2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 7; 
FY2007: Amount awarded: $6,212,534; 
FY2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 6; 
FY2008: Amount awarded: $7,128,112; 
FY2008: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 5. 

Department type: Interest Organization; 
FY2005: Amount awarded: $1,341,457; 
FY2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2; 
FY2006: Amount awarded: $3,355,484; 
FY2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 3; 
FY2007: Amount awarded: $4,972,327; 
FY2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 5; 
FY2008: Amount awarded: $7,418,493; 
FY2008: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 6. 

Department type: Total; 
FY2005: Amount awarded: $63,499,101; 
FY2006: Amount awarded: $101,458,818; 
FY2007: Amount awarded: $107,327,752; 
FY2008: Amount awarded: $134,142,419. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Notes: The SAFER Act was enacted on November 24, 2003, and the first 
appropriation was made in fiscal year 2005. Fire grants data for fiscal 
year 2008 are current as of July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants 
period closed on September 30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

Table 13: Distribution of FP&S Awards by Department Type for Fiscal 
Years 2005 through 2007: 

Department type: Career; 
2005: Amount awarded: $6,905,847; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 21; 
2006: Amount awarded: $6,250,783; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 17; 
2007: Amount awarded: $1,845,331; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 5. 

Department type: Combination; 
2005: Amount awarded: $3,019,939; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 9; 
2006: Amount awarded: $2,268,050; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 6; 
2007: Amount awarded: $1,560,303; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 5. 

Department type: Volunteer; 
2005: Amount awarded: $1,362,946; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 4; 
2006: Amount awarded: $1,815,343; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 5; 
2007: Amount awarded: $789,123; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2. 

Department type: Paid on call/stipend; 
2005: Amount awarded: $658,543; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2; 
2006: Amount awarded: $109,782; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0; 
2007: Amount awarded: $36,072; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 0. 

Department type: Interest organization; 
2005: Amount awarded: $21,134,765; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 64; 
2006: Amount awarded: $26,821,628; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 72; 
2007: Amount awarded: $29,656,242; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 88. 

Department type: Total; 
2005: Amount awarded: $33,082,040; 
2006: Amount awarded: $37,265,586; 
2007: Amount awarded: $33,887,071. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Notes: FEMA did not provide FP&S application and award information by 
department type for fiscal years 2002 through 2004. Fiscal year 2007 
FP&S grants reflect awards made through July 2009. No fiscal year 2008 
FP&S grants had been awarded as of July 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix VII: Distribution of AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Awards by Community 
Service Area, Fiscal Years 2002 through 2008: 

Tables 14, 15, and 16 show the distribution of AFG, SAFER, and FP&S 
awards, respectively, from fiscal years 2002 to 2008 by community 
service area (e.g., rural, suburban, and urban). 

Table 14: Distribution of AFG Awards by Community Service Area for 
Fiscal Years 2002 through 2008: 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2002; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: $40,377,302; 
Service area: Suburban: $77,031,109; 
Service area: Rural: $214,074,511; 
Service area: Total: $331,482,921. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2002; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: 12; 
Service area: Suburban: 23; 
Service area: Rural: 64. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2003; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: $47,066,785; 
Service area: Suburban: $121,647,167; 
Service area: Rural: $529,756,553; 
Service area: Total: $698,470,505. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2003; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: 7; 
Service area: Suburban: 17; 
Service area: Rural: 76. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2004; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: $34,407,348; 
Service area: Suburban: $118,467,285; 
Service area: Rural: $520,006,549; 
Service area: Total: $672,881,182. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2004; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: 5; 
Service area: Suburban: 18; 
Service area: Rural: 77. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2005; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: $63,453,509; 
Service area: Suburban: $119,669,234; 
Service area: Rural: $413,426,571; 
Service area: Total: $596,549,314. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2005; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: 11; 
Service area: Suburban: 20; 
Service area: Rural: 69. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2006; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: $36,692,506; 
Service area: Suburban: $88,412,349; 
Service area: Rural: $358,877,634; 
Service area: Total: $483,982,489. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2006; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: 8; 
Service area: Suburban: 18; 
Service area: Rural: 74. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2007; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: $55,174,641; 
Service area: Suburban: $96,482,911; 
Service area: Rural: $341,491,202; 
Service area: Total: $493,148,754. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2007; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: 11; 
Service area: Suburban: 20; 
Service area: Rural: 69. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2008; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: $57,881,399; 
Service area: Suburban: $90,957,326; 
Service area: Rural: $305,074,135; 
Service area: Total: $453,912,860. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2008; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Service area: Urban: 13; 
Service area: Suburban: 20; 
Service area: Rural: 67. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 funding are current as of 
July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants period closed on September 
30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] The sum of the dollars awarded by department may not equal the 
total amount due to rounding. Some percentages may not equal 100 
percent due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

Table 15: Distribution of SAFER Awards by Community Service Area for 
Fiscal Years 2005 through 2008: 

Service area: Urban; 
2005: Amount awarded: $17,629,425; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 28; 
2006: Amount awarded: $21,440,571; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 21; 
2007: Amount awarded: $13,764,694; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 13; 
2008: Amount awarded: $40,939,468; 
2008: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 31. 

Service area: Suburban; 
2005: Amount awarded: $29,942,758; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 47; 
2006: Amount awarded: $47,783,221; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 47; 
2007: Amount awarded: $61,453,851; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 57; 
2008: Amount awarded: $55,888,003; 
2008: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 42. 

Service area: Rural; 
2005: Amount awarded: $14,585,461; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 23; 
2006: Amount awarded: $23,050,246; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 23; 
2007: Amount awarded: $27,136,880; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 25; 
2008: Amount awarded: $28,514,628; 
2008: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 21. 

Service area: Other[B]; 
2005: Amount awarded: $1,341,457; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 2; 
2006: Amount awarded: $9,184,780; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 9; 
2007: Amount awarded: $4,972,327; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 5; 
2008: Amount awarded: $8,800,320; 
2008: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 7. 

Service area: Total; 
2005: Amount awarded: $63,499,101; 
2006: Amount awarded: $101,458,818; 
2007: Amount awarded: $107,327,752; 
2008: Amount awarded: $134,142,419. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Notes: The SAFER Act was enacted on November 24, 2003, and the first 
appropriation was made in fiscal year 2005. Fire grants data for fiscal 
year 2008 funding are current as of July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 
fire grants period closed on September 30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 
2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[B] "Other" represents organizations without a community service area 
affiliation, such as local, regional, or statewide organizations. 

[End of table] 

Table 16: Distribution of FP&S Awards by Community Service Area for 
Fiscal Years 2005 through 2007: 

Service area: Urban; 
2005: Amount awarded: $6,773,144; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 20; 
2006: Amount awarded: $5,449,955; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 15; 
2007: Amount awarded: $5,793,376; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 17. 

Service area: Suburban; 
2005: Amount awarded: $3,115,200; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 9; 
2006: Amount awarded: $3,458,314; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 9; 
2007: Amount awarded: $3,339,585; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 10. 

Service area: Rural; 
2005: Amount awarded: $4,327,820; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 13; 
2006: Amount awarded: $3,406,300; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 9; 
2007: Amount awarded: $2,238,615; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 7. 

Service area: Other[B]; 
2005: Amount awarded: $18,865,876; 
2005: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 57; 
2006: Amount awarded: $24,951,017; 
2006: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 67; 
2007: Amount awarded: $22,515,495; 
2007: Percentage of total amount awarded[A]: 66. 

Service area: Total; 
2005: Amount awarded: $33,082,040; 
2006: Amount awarded: $37,265,586; 
2007: Amount awarded: $33,887,071. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: FEMA did not provide FP&S application and award information by 
community service area for fiscal years 2002 through 2004. Fiscal year 
2007 FP&S grants reflect awards made through July 2009. No fiscal year 
2008 FP&S grants had been awarded as of July 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[B] "Other" represents organizations without a community service area 
affiliation, such as private and nonprofit organizations. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix VIII: Distribution of AFG Awards by Activity, Fiscal Years 
2002 through 2008: 

Table 17 shows the distribution of AFG awards by activity (e.g., 
operations and safety, vehicle acquisition, and regional) for fiscal 
years 2002 through 2008. The amount of funding provided for operations 
and safety activities is consistently higher than that spent on 
regional activities and vehicle acquisition. Fiscal year 2008 funding 
for operations and safety grants amounted to $273.1 million out of the 
total $453.9 million grant awards. Grant funding for vehicle 
acquisition and regional applications was $131.7 million and $49.2 
million, respectively. 

Table 17: Distribution of AFG Awards by Activity for Fiscal Years 2002 
through 2008: 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2002; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: $3,016,445; 
Activity: Fire prevention: $9,870,333; 
Activity: Operation and safety: $280,051,832; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: $39,119,506; 
Activity: Regional: 0; 
Activity: Total: $332,058,115. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2002; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: 1; 
Activity: Fire prevention: 3; 
Activity: Operation and safety: 84; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: 12. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2003; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: $4,275,001; 
Activity: Fire prevention: $13,326,524; 
Activity: Operation and safety: $496,501,088; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: $184,367,892; 
Activity: Regional: 0; 
Activity: Total: $698,470,505. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2003; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: 1; 
Activity: Fire prevention: 2; 
Activity: Operation and safety: 71; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: 26. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2004; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: 0; 
Activity: Fire prevention: $7,905,672; 
Activity: Operation and safety: $464,734,642; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: $200,240,868; 
Activity: Regional: 0; 
Activity: Total: $672,881,182. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2004; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: [Empty]; 
Activity: Fire prevention: 1; 
Activity: Operation and safety: 69; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: 30. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2005; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: 0; 
Activity: Fire prevention: 0; 
Activity: Operation and safety: $437,125,917; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: $159,423,397; 
Activity: Regional: 0; 
Activity: Total: $596,549,314. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2005; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: [Empty]; 
Activity: Fire prevention: [Empty]; 
Activity: Operation and safety: 73; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: 27. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2006; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: 0; 
Activity: Fire prevention: 0; 
Activity: Operation and safety: $311,002,879; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: $133,624,780; 
Activity: Regional: $39,971,097; 
Activity: Total: $484,598,756. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2006; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: [Empty]; 
Activity: Fire prevention: [Empty]; 
Activity: Operation and safety: 64; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: 28. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2007; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: 0; 
Activity: Fire prevention: 0; 
Activity: Operation and safety: $299,241,655; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: $143,783,353; 
Activity: Regional: $50,123,746; 
Activity: Total: $493,148,754. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2007; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: [Empty]; 
Activity: Fire prevention: [Empty]; 
Activity: Operation and safety: 61; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: 29. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2008; 
Amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: 0; 
Activity: Fire prevention: 0; 
Activity: Operation and safety: $273,102,841; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: $131,651,375; 
Activity: Regional: $49,158,644; 
Activity: Total: $453,912,860. 

Fiscal years/AFG awards: 2008; 
Percentage of total amount awarded[A]; 
Activity: Emergency medical services: [Empty]; 
Activity: Fire prevention: [Empty]; 
Activity: Operation and safety: 60; 
Activity: Vehicle acquisition: 29. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 funding are current as of 
July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants closed on September 30, 
2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] The sum of the dollars awarded by department may not equal the 
total amount due to rounding. Some percentages may not equal 100 
percent due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IX: Distribution of AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Awards and Funding by 
Department Type: 

Tables 18 and 19 show the distribution of AFG and SAFER awards and 
funding, respectively, by department type for fiscal year 2008. Table 
20 shows the distribution of FP&S awards and funding by department type 
for fiscal year 2007. 

Table 18: Distribution of AFG Awards and Funding by Department Type for 
Fiscal Year 2008 (dollars in millions): 

Department type: Career; 
Number of applications submitted: 2,534; 
Number of awards: 686; 
Amount awarded: $88.08; 
Average award: $128,392.74; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 12; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 14. 

Department type: Combination; 
Number of applications submitted: 4,681; 
Number of awards: 1,105; 
Amount awarded: $122.34; 
Average award: $110,719.41; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 22; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 23. 

Department type: Volunteer; 
Number of applications submitted: 12,313; 
Number of awards: 2,655; 
Amount awarded: $216.74; 
Average award: $81,635.36; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 59; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 55. 

Department type: Paid on call/stipend; 
Number of applications submitted: 1,494; 
Number of awards: 359; 
Amount awarded: $26.75; 
Average award: $74,508.67; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 7; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 7. 

Department type: Total; 
Number of applications submitted: 21,022; 
Number of awards: 4,805; 
Amount awarded: $453.91. 

Source: GAO Analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 funding are current as of 
July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants period closed on September 
30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

Table 19: Distribution of SAFER Grant Awards and Funding by Department 
Type for Fiscal Year 2008 (dollars in millions): 

Department type: Career; 
Number of applications submitted: 229; 
Number of awards: 67; 
Amount awarded: $68.19; 
Average award: $1,017,738.84; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 17; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 26. 

Department type: Combination; 
Number of applications submitted: 631; 
Number of awards: 121; 
Amount awarded: $51.41; 
Average award: $424,853.82; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 48; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 47. 

Department type: Volunteer; 
Number of applications submitted: 426; 
Number of awards: 53; 
Amount awarded: $7.13; 
Average award: $134,492.68; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 32; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 21. 

Department type: Interest organization; 
Number of applications submitted: 28; 
Number of awards: 14; 
Amount awarded: $7.42; 
Average award: $529,892.36; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 5. 

Department type: Total; 
Number of applications submitted: 1,314; 
Number of awards: 255; 
Amount awarded: $134.14. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 funding are current as of 
July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants period closed on September 
30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

Table 20: Distribution of FP&S Awards and Funding by Department Type 
for Fiscal Year 2007 (dollars in millions): 

Department type: Career; 
Number of applications submitted: 585; 
Number of awards: 48; 
Amount awarded: $1.85; 
Average award: $38,444.40; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 23; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 22. 

Department type: Combination; 
Number of applications submitted: 723; 
Number of awards: 49; 
Amount awarded: $1.56; 
Average award: $31,842.92; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 28; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 23. 

Department type: Volunteer; 
Number of applications submitted: 711; 
Number of awards: 34; 
Amount awarded: $0.79; 
Average award: $23,209.50; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 28; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 16. 

Department type: Paid on call/stipend; 
Number of applications submitted: 67; 
Number of awards: 1; 
Amount awarded: $0.04; 
Average award: $36,072.00; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 3; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 0. 

Department type: Other[B]; 
Number of applications submitted: 475; 
Number of awards: 84; 
Amount awarded: $29.66; 
Average award: $353,050.50; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 19; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 39. 

Department type: Total; 
Number of applications submitted: 2,561; 
Number of awards: 216; 
Amount awarded: $33.89. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: FP&S application and award data are from fiscal year 2007 and 
reflect all fiscal year 2007 awards made through July 2009. No fiscal 
year 2008 FP&S grants had been awarded as of July 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[B] "Other" represents organizations without a community service area 
affiliation, such as private and nonprofit organizations. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix X: Distribution of AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Awards and Funding by 
Community Service Area: 

Tables 21 and 22 show the distribution of AFG and SAFER awards, 
respectively, by service area for fiscal year 2008. Table 23 shows the 
distribution of FP&S awards by service area for fiscal year 2007. 

Table 21: Distribution of AFG Grant Awards and Funding by Community 
Service Area for Fiscal Year 2008 (dollars in millions): 

Service area: Urban; 
Number of applications submitted: 1,366; 
Number of awards: 358; 
Amount awarded: $57.88; 
Average award: $161,679.89; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 6; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 7. 

Service area: Suburban; 
Number of applications submitted: 3,357; 
Number of awards: 806; 
Amount awarded: $90.96; 
Average award: $112,850.28; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 16; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 17. 

Service area: Rural; 
Number of applications submitted: 16,299; 
Number of awards: 3,641; 
Amount awarded: $305.07; 
Average award: $83,788.56; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 78; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 76. 

Service area: Total; 
Number of applications submitted: 21,022; 
Number of awards: 4,805; 
Amount awarded: $453.91. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 funding are current as of 
July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants period closed on September 
30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

Table 22: Distribution of SAFER Awards and Funding by Community Service 
Area for Fiscal Year 2008 (dollars in millions): 

Service area: Urban; 
Number of applications submitted: 152; 
Number of awards: 45; 
Amount awarded: $40.94; 
Average award: $909,765.96; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 12; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 18. 

Service area: Suburban; 
Number of applications submitted: 461; 
Number of awards: 92; 
Amount awarded: $55.89; 
Average award: $607,478.29; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 35; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 36. 

Service area: Rural; 
Number of applications submitted: 670; 
Number of awards: 101; 
Amount awarded: $28.51; 
Average award: $282,323.05; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 51; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 40. 

Service area: Other[B]; 
Number of applications submitted: 31; 
Number of awards: 17; 
Amount awarded: $8.80; 
Average award: $517,665.88; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 2; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 7. 

Service area: Total; 
Number of applications submitted: 1,314; 
Number of awards: 255; 
Amount awarded: $134.14. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 funding are current as of 
July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants period closed on September 
30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[B] "Other" represents organizations without a community service area 
affiliation, such as local, regional, or statewide organizations. 

[End of table] 

Table 23: Distribution of FP&S Awards and Funding by Community Service 
Area for Fiscal Year 2007 (dollars in millions): 

Service area: Urban; 
Number of applications submitted: 482; 
Number of awards: 53; 
Amount awarded: $5.79; 
Average award: $109,308.98; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 19; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 25. 

Service area: Suburban; 
Number of applications submitted: 778; 
Number of awards: 56; 
Amount awarded: $3.34; 
Average award: $59,635.45; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 30; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 26. 

Service area: Rural; 
Number of applications submitted: 1,109; 
Number of awards: 66; 
Amount awarded: $2.24; 
Average award: $33,918.41; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 43; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 31. 

Service area: Other[B]; 
Number of applications submitted: 192; 
Number of awards: 41; 
Amount awarded: $22.52; 
Average award: $549,158.41; 
Percentage of total applications[A]: 7; 
Percentage of total awards[A]: 19. 

Service area: Total; 
Number of applications submitted: 2,561; 
Number of awards: 216; 
Amount awarded: $33.89. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: FP&S application and award numbers are for fiscal year 2007 
funding and reflect all fiscal year 2007 awards made through July 2009. 
No fiscal year 2008 FP&S grants had been awarded as of July 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[B] "Other" represents organizations without a community service area 
affiliation, such as private and nonprofit organizations. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix XI: Fire Grant Applicants in Nonprobability Sample: 

We conducted structured interviews with randomly selected applicants 
that applied for fiscal year 2008 funding for the AFG and SAFER grants 
and fiscal year 2007 funding for the FP&S grants to discuss various 
aspects of FEMA's grant application and award process. (See table 24.) 

Table 24: Fire Grant Applicants in Nonprobability Sample: 

Organization name: Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Department; 

Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Seward; 
State: Alaska. 

Organization name: Brentwood Fire Department; 
Department type: Career; 
City: Brentwood; 
State: Tennessee. 

Organization name: Center Point Fire District; 
Department type: Career; 
City: Birmingham; 
State: Alabama. 

Organization name: Champaign Fire Department; 
Department type: Career; 
City: Champaign; 
State: Illinois. 

Organization name: Chippewa Township Fire Department; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: Doylestown; 
State: Ohio. 

Organization name: City of Melrose Fire Department; 
Department type: Career; 
City: Melrose; 
State: Massachusetts. 

Organization name: Clark County Fire District #9 East County Fire and 
Rescue; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: Camas; 
State: Washington. 

Organization name: Cowlitz #2 Fire and Rescue; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: Kelso; 
State: Washington. 

Organization name: DeFuniak Springs Fire Department; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: DeFuniak Springs; 
State: Florida. 

Organization name: Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association; 
Department type: N/A; 
City: Dover; 
State: Delaware. 

Organization name: Dickinson County EMS; 
Department type: Career; 
City: Abilene; 
State: Kansas. 

Organization name: East Olympia Fire District #6; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: Olympia; 
State: Washington. 

Organization name: Forman Fire Protection District; 
Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Manito; 
State: Illinois. 

Organization name: Gates Fire District; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: Rochester; 
State: New York. 

Organization name: Hamden Fire Department; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: Hamden; 
State: Connecticut. 

Organization name: Hardin County EMS; 
Department type: Career; 
City: Elizabethtown; 
State: Kentucky. 

Organization name: Haycock Fire Company #1; 
Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Quakertown; 
State: Pennsylvania. 

Organization name: Honea Path Fire Department; 
Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Honea Path; 
State: South Carolina. 

Organization name: Konawa Volunteer Fire Department; 
Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Konawa; 
State: Oklahoma. 

Organization name: Lenoir City Fire Department; 
Department type: Career; 
City: Lenoir City; 
State: Tennessee. 

Organization name: Lyndon Station Fire and Rescue; 
Department type: Paid on call/stipend; 
City: Lyndon Station; 
State: Wisconsin. 

Organization name: Mission Township Fire Department; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: Topeka; 
State: Kansas. 

Organization name: Monroe Fire Department; 
Department type: Career; 
City: Monroe; 
State: Louisiana. 

Organization name: Natick Fire Department; 
Department type: Career; 
City: Natick; 
State: Massachusetts. 

Organization name: Northampton Fire Department; 
Department type: Career; 
City: Northampton; 
State: Massachusetts. 

Organization name: Philadelphia Fire Department; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: Philadelphia; 
State: Mississippi. 

Organization name: Plainville Fire Department; 
Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Plainville; 
State: Kansas. 

Organization name: Pricetown Volunteer Fire Department; 
Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Weston; 
State: West Virginia. 

Organization name: Riverton Fire Protection District; 
Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Riverton; 
State: Wyoming. 

Organization name: Seguin Fire Department; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: Seguin; 
State: Texas. 

Organization name: Shortsville Fire Department; 
Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Shortsville; 
State: New York. 

Organization name: Stockland Fire Protection District; 
Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Milford; 
State: Illinois. 

Organization name: Town of North Have; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: North Haven; 
State: Connecticut. 

Organization name: Vineland Fire Department; 
Department type: Combination; 
City: Vineland; 
State: New Jersey. 

Organization name: Waco Community Volunteer Fire Department; 
Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Waco; 
State: North Carolina. 

Organization name: Westhampton Fire Department; 
Department type: Volunteer; 
City: Westhampton; 
State: Massachusetts. 

Source: GAO. 

Legend: N/A = not applicable. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix XII: Time Frames for the Fiscal Year 2008 Fire Grants Process: 

We obtained information from FEMA officials and documents in order to 
prepare a timeline depicting the time frames for the fiscal year 2008 
fire grants process. (See figure 8.) 

Figure 8: Time Frames for Fiscal Year 2008 Fire Grants Process: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration] 

AFG: 

Guidance development and approval: September 2007-March 2008; 
Application period: March 3-April 4, 2008; 
Automated scoring: April 8-9, 2008; 
Peer review panel: April 13-May 16, 2008; 
Technical review: April 29-September 9, 2008; 
Grants awarded: July 2008-September 2009. 

SAFER: 
Guidance development and approval: December 2007-June 2008; 
Application period: May 27-June 27, 2008; 
Automated scoring: June 30, 2008; 
Peer review panel: July 4-18, 2008; 
Technical review: July 15-September 30, 2008; 
Grants awarded: July 2008-September 2009. 

FP&S: 
Guidance development and approval: December 2007-February 2008; 
Application period: February 15-March 6, 2008; 
Prescreening: March 9-16, 2008; 
Peer review panel: April 13-May 1, 2008; 
Technical review: April 13-May 8, 2008; 
Grants awarded: May-September 2009. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix XIII: Unsuccessful AFG, SAFER, and FP&S Applicants by 
Department Type and Community Service Area: 

Tables 25 and 26 show the breakdown of unsuccessful AFG and SAFER 
applicants, respectively, by department type and community service area 
for fiscal year 2008. Table 27 shows the breakdown of unsuccessful FP&S 
applicants by department type and community service area for fiscal 
year 2007. 

Table 25: Breakdown of Unsuccessful AFG Applicants by Department Type 
and Community Service Area for Fiscal Year 2008: 

Department type: Career; 
Total applicants: Number: 1,798; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 12; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 1,169; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 11; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: Number: 
390; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: 
Percentage[A]: 10; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Number: 255; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Percentage[A]: 11. 

Department type: Combination; 
Total applicants: Number: 3,398; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 22; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 2,361; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 21; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: Number: 
716; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: 
Percentage[A]: 19; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Number: 438; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Percentage[A]: 18. 

Department type: Volunteer; 
Total applicants: Number: 9,256; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 60; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 6,710; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 61; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: Number: 
2,373; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: 
Percentage[A]: 64; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Number: 1,547; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Percentage[A]: 65. 

Department type: Paid on call/stipend; 
Total applicants: Number: 1,092; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 7; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 749; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 7; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: Number: 
250; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: 
Percentage[A]: 7; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Number: 145; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Percentage[A]: 6. 

Department type: Total; 
Total applicants: Number: 15,544; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 10,989; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: Number: 
3,729; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Number: 2,385. 

Service area: Urban; 
Total applicants: Number: 990; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 6; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 650; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 6; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: Number: 
204; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: 
Percentage[A]: 5; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Number: 123; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Percentage[A]: 5. 

Service area: Suburban; 
Total applicants: Number: 2,494; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 16; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 1,726; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 16; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: Number: 
543; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: 
Percentage[A]: 15; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Number: 322; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Percentage[A]: 14. 

Service area: Rural; 
Total applicants: Number: 12,060; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 78; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 8,613; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 78; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: Number: 
2,982; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: 
Percentage[A]: 80; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Number: 1,940; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Percentage[A]: 81. 

Service area: Total; 
Total applicants: Number: 15,544; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 10,989; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received awards: Number: 
3,729; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants whose applications never made it to panel: 
Number: 2,385. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 funding are current as of 
July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants period closed on September 
30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

Table 26: Breakdown of Unsuccessful SAFER Applicants by Department Type 
and Community Service Area for Fiscal Year 2008: 

Department type: Career; 
Total applicants: Number: 225; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 17; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 171; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 16; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
122; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 13. 

Department type: Combination; 
Total applicants: Number: 628; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 48; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 536; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 49; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
452; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 48. 

Department type: Volunteer; 
Total applicants: Number: 424; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 32; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 369; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 34; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
348; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 37. 

Department type: Interest organization; 
Total applicants: Number: 28; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 2; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 14; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 1; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
11; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 1. 

Department type: Total; 
Total applicants: Number: 1,305; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 1,090; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
933. 

Service area: Urban; 
Total applicants: Number: 152; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 12; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 115; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 11; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
89; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 10. 

Service area: Suburban; 
Total applicants: Number: 453; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 35; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 381; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 35; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
312; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 33. 

Service area: Rural; 
Total applicants: Number: 669; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 51; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 580; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 53; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
521; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 56. 

Service area: Other[B]; 
Total applicants: Number: 31; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 2; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 14; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 1; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
11; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 1. 

Service area: Total; 
Total applicants: Number: 1,305; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 1,090; 
FY08 unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
933. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: Fire grants data for fiscal year 2008 funding are current as of 
July 2009. The fiscal year 2008 fire grants period closed on September 
30, 2009, the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[B] "Other" represents organizations without a community service area 
affiliation, such as private and nonprofit organizations. 

[End of table] 

Table 27: Breakdown of Unsuccessful FP&S Applicants by Department Type 
and Community Service Area for Fiscal Year 2007: 

Department type: Career; 
Total applicants: Number: 565; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 22; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 520; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 23; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 359; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 19. 

Department type: Combination; 
Total applicants: Number: 711; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 28; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 662; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 29; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 540; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 28. 

Department type: Volunteer; 
Total applicants: Number: 708; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 28; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 674; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 29; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 623; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 33. 

Department type: Paid on call/stipend; 
Total applicants: Number: 66; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 3; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 65; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 3; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 59; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 3. 

Department type: Interest organization; 
Total applicants: Number: 473; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 388; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 320; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 17. 

Department type: Total; 
Total applicants: Number: 2,523; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 2,309; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
1,901. 

Service area: Urban; 
Total applicants: Number: 469; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 19; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 418; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 18; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 314; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 17. 

Service area: Suburban; 
Total applicants: Number: 767; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 30; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 710; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 31; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 568; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 30. 

Service area: Rural; 
Total applicants: Number: 1097; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 43; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 1032; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 45; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 908; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 48. 

Service area: Other[B]; 
Total applicants: Number: 190; 
Total applicants: Percentage[A]: 8; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 149; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Percentage[A]: 6; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 111; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: 
Percentage[A]: 6. 

Service area: Total; 
Total applicants: Number: 2,523; 
Unsuccessful applicants: Number: 2,309; 
Unsuccessful applicants who have never received an award: Number: 
1,901. 

Source: GAO analysis of FEMA data. 

Note: FP&S application and award numbers are for fiscal year 2007 and 
reflect all fiscal year 2007 awards made through July 2008. No fiscal 
year 2008 FP&S grants had been awarded as of July 2009. 

[A] Some percentages may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. 

[B] "Other" represents organizations without a community service area 
affiliation, such as private and nonprofit organizations. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix XIV: Comments from the Department of Homeland Security: 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: 
Washington, DC 20528: 

October 22, 2009: 

William 0. Jenkins, Jr. 
Director, Homeland Security and Justice: 
Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft report GAO-10-64 
"FEMA Has Met Most Requirements for Awarding Fire Grants, but 
Additional Actions Would Improve Its Grant Process." The Department of 
Homeland Security appreciates the work in planning and conducting and 
issuing this report. 

The following is our response to the recommendations. 

Recommendation #1: To ensure compliance with all Assistance to 
Firefighter Grants (AEG) statutory requirements, we recommend that the 
Administrator of FE MA establish a procedure for tracking the 
percentage of grant funds awarded to fire departments for emergency 
medical services (EMS) purposes. 

Response: Concur with this recommendation. FEMA will examine the 
available options and adopt one for manually and electronically 
monitoring the percentages to ensure compliance. 

In addition, to improve the clarity, consistency, and controls of the 
grants review and award process, we recommend that the Administrator of 
FEMA take the following three actions: 

Recommendation #2A: Ensure that the priorities in the want guidance are 
aligned with the scoring matrix and the grant application questions, 
and that FEMA requests applicants to submit all statutorily required 
information. 

Response: Concur with this recommendation. FEMA will explore
options and identify means for providing clear, concise and consistent 
information to applicants on the funding priorities and statutorily 
required information. 

Recommendation #2B: Coordinate with the Secretary of Homeland Security 
to document the review and approval process for grant guidance, develop 
a tracking system to monitor the progress of the review within FEMA and 
DHS, and set internal deadlines so that guidance can be issued in a 
timely manner. 

Response: Concur with this recommendation. FEMA will work with 
applicable offices to enable a timely review and tracking of program 
guidance material. 

Recommendation #2C: Inform unsuccessful applicants about the forms of 
assistance available to them in the future grant cycles and provide 
more specific feedback to applicants who are turned down for grants 
following the peer review. 

Response: Concur with this recommendation. Additional training and 
outreach efforts are being developed to enhance feedback to applicants. 

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments to the draft report. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Jerald E. Levine: 
Director: 
Departmental GAO/OIG Liaison office: 

[End of section] 

Appendix XV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

William Jenkins, (202) 512-8777 or jenkinswo@gao.gov: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Leyla Kazaz, Assistant 
Director, and Deborah Ortega, Analyst-in-Charge, managed this 
assignment. Sarah Arnett, Marie Webb, and Su Jin Yon made significant 
contributions to the work. Christine Davis provided legal support. 
Stanley Kostyla and Jerome Sandau assisted with design, methodology, 
and data analysis, and Lara Kaskie provided assistance in report 
preparation. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] See also National Academy of Public Administration, Assistance to 
Firefighters Grant Program: Assessing Performance (Washington, D.C., 
April 2007), National Fire Protection Association, "The United States 
Fire Service," (2007), [hyperlink, 
http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files//PDF/Research/FireServiceFactSheet.pdf]
(accessed Oct. 8, 2009). 

[2] NFPA is an international nonprofit membership association that 
develops and publishes consensus codes and standards and offers 
statistical and data services through its Fire Analysis and Research 
Division. 

[3] Pub. L. No. 110-161, 121 Stat. 1844 (2007). The statute's 
explanatory statement was published in the December 17, 2007, daily 
edition of the Congressional Record, and the congressional direction 
for this GAO study appears on page H16096. 

[4] Federal Emergency Management Agency, Assistance to Firefighters 
Grant Program and Application Guidance (Washington, D.C., February 
2008); Federal Emergency Management Agency, Assistance to Firefighters 
Grant Program 2008 Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (Washington, D.C., 
February 2009); and Department of Homeland Security, Staffing for 
Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program and Application Guidance 
(Washington, D.C., May 2008). 

[5] FEMA defines a volunteer fire department as one in which no members 
receive any compensation other than a length of service retirement 
program and insurance, whereas a career department is one in which all 
members are compensated for their services. A combination department is 
defined as having any number of both volunteer and career firefighters 
regardless of their proportion to one another. According to a FEMA 
program specialist responsible for administering the AFG and SAFER 
grant programs, combination departments also include paid on call/ 
stipend departments. If a volunteer fire department provides stipends 
to its members or provides "pay-on-call" for its members, the 
department is considered to be combination. 

[6] Although the first appropriation for the AFG grant program was made 
in fiscal year 2001, a program specialist responsible for administering 
the AFG and SAFER grant programs informed us that electronic data were 
not available until fiscal year 2002. 

[7] The first appropriation for the SAFER grant program was made in 
fiscal year 2005. 

[8] In its grant guidance, FEMA identified the following nine major 
fire service organizations: the Congressional Fire Service Institute, 
the International Association of Arson Investigators, the International 
Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of 
Firefighters, the International Society of Fire Service Instructors, 
the North American Fire Training Directors, the National Association of 
State Fire Marshals, the National Fire Protection Association, and the 
National Volunteer Fire Council. 

[9] GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1] 
(Washington, D.C.: November 1999). These standards, issued pursuant to 
the requirements of the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act of 
1982, provide the overall framework for establishing and maintaining 
internal control in the federal government. Also pursuant to the act, 
the Office of Management and Budget issued Circular A-123, revised 
December 21, 2004, to provide the specific requirements for assessing 
the reporting on internal controls. Internal control standards and the 
definition of internal control in Circular A-123 are based on GAO's 
Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government. 

[10] Nonaffiliated EMS organizations are defined as public or private 
nonprofit EMS organizations that are not affiliated with a hospital and 
do not serve a geographic area with adequate EMS services already 
provided by a fire department. 15 U.S.C. § 2229(d)(2). 

[11] This report shall refer to section 33 of the Federal Fire 
Prevention and Control Act of 1974 as the Fire Act, which is codified, 
as amended, at 15 U.S.C. § 2229. 

[12] 15 U.S.C. § 2229(b)(13). 

[13] 15 U.S.C. § 2229(b)(15). 

[14] 15 U.S.C. § 2229(b)(5). 

[15] 15 U.S.C. § 2229(b)(14)(B). 

[16] This report shall refer to section 34 of the Federal Fire 
Prevention and Control Act of 1974 as the SAFER Act, which was enacted 
on November 24, 2003 and is set forth at 15 U.S.C. § 2229a. 

[17] 15 U.S.C. § 2229a(a)(1)-(2). According to the Director of 
Government Affairs for the International Society of Fire Service 
Instructors, volunteer fire departments use the hiring grants to start 
the transition process to becoming career departments, but typically 
retain their volunteer status until over 50 percent of their personnel 
are full-time employees. 

[18] 15 U.S.C. § 2229a(a)(1)(E). The American Recovery and Reinvestment 
Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-5, Div. A., Title VI, § 603, 123 Stat. 
115, 165 (2009), waived the SAFER Act's local cost-sharing requirement 
for grant funds appropriated in fiscal years 2009 or 2010. 

[19] 15 U.S.C. § 2229a(a)(1)(B)(ii). The Supplemental Appropriations 
Act, 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-32, 123 Stat. 1859, 1882 (2009), authorized 
the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant waivers from various SAFER 
Act requirements in awarding grants during fiscal years 2009 or 2010, 
including the requirement for a 4-year grant term followed by a 1-year 
unfunded service commitment. 

[20] Following the enactment of legislative changes to the SAFER 
program applicable to fiscal years 2009 and 2010, the fiscal year 2010 
Criteria Development Panel, which met in July 2009, recommended various 
changes in the program, such as shortening the performance period of 
the grants. Any changes that result from this panel's recommendations 
will apply to grant awards made using fiscal year 2010 funds. 

[21] 15 U.S.C. § 2229a(a)(1)(G). The statutory requirement for a 
competitive peer review process specifically applies to hiring grants, 
but FEMA uses the same process for recruitment and retention grants. 

[22] 15 U.S.C. § 2229a(b)(2)-(3). 

[23] 15 U.S.C. § 2229a(b)(3)(B). 

[24] 15 U.S.C. § 2229a(e). Unlike SAFER grants, AFG and FP&S grants do 
not have a sunset provision. 

[25] FEMA brings together a panel of fire service professionals 
representing the leadership of the nine major fire service 
organizations: the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the 
International Association of Firefighters, the National Volunteer Fire 
Council, the National Fire Protection Association, the National 
Association of State Fire Marshals, the International Association of 
Arson Investigators, the North American Fire Training Directors, the 
International Society of Fire Service Instructors, and the 
Congressional Fire Service Institute. 

[26] Under the FP&S grants program, a scoring matrix is not used to 
rank applications relative to funding priorities. 

[27] FEMA received about 25,000 applications for AFG, SAFER, and FP&S 
grants in fiscal year 2007 and awarded more than 5,000 grants. See 
apps. V through X for more detailed information about the distribution 
of AFG, SAFER, and FP&S program funds. 

[28] Fire grant data for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 are current as of 
July 2009. 

[29] Fiscal year 2002 is the first year FEMA began maintaining 
electronic data for the program. 

[30] Fire grant data for fiscal year 2008 are current as of July 2009. 
The fiscal year 2008 fire grant period closed on September 30, 2009, 
which is the end of fiscal year 2009. 

[31] The 45 percent estimate applied to all fiscal years in the AFG 
program except fiscal year 2003. In fiscal year 2003, FEMA's AFG 
program guidance stated that career departments would compete against 
other career departments for up to 46 percent of the available funding. 
Volunteer and combination departments would compete among each other 
for at least 54 percent of the available funding. 

[32] Although FEMA's internal guidance specifies that no less than 22 
percent and no less than 33 percent of the AFG appropriation go to 
volunteer and combination departments, respectively, the Fire Act does 
not require such a breakdown and only states that volunteer and 
combination departments collectively receive at least the amount 
proportional to the population they protect. 

[33] FEMA awarded about 45 percent of fiscal year 2007 funds to 
volunteer departments. 

[34] The Fire Act requires FEMA to convene an annual criteria 
development panel composed of individuals who are nonfederal members of 
national fire service organizations. 15 U.S.C. § 2229(b)(13). Although 
the SAFER Act does not require FEMA to convene such a criteria 
development panel, FEMA nevertheless follows this procedure for SAFER 
grants. 

[35] The Fire Act requires FEMA, after consulting with national fire 
service organizations, to appoint a peer review panel composed of fire 
service personnel to evaluate grant applications. 15 U.S.C. § 
2229(b)(15). Similarly, the SAFER Act requires SAFER hiring grants to 
be awarded based on a "neutral peer review process," a process that 
FEMA also follows for SAFER recruitment and retention grants. 15 U.S.C. 
§ 2229a(a)(1)(G). 

[36] The score sheet factors correspond with the evaluation factors 
stated in the AFG grant guidance and application form for fiscal year 
2008. 

[37] 15 U.S.C. § 2229(b)(5). 

[38] 15 U.S.C. § 2229(b)(14)(B). 

[39] Fire departments are eligible to apply for assistance only in the 
fire prevention and safety activity. Public and private nonprofit 
organizations are eligible to apply for assistance in both activities. 

[40] 15 U.S.C. § 2229a(b)(2)-(3). 

[41] 15 U.S.C. § 2229a(b)(3)(B). 

[42] 15 U.S.C. § 2229a(b)(3)(B). 

[43] The SAFER hiring grant guidance also includes specific default 
provisions if the applicant does not meet its 5-year service 
commitment. 

[44] National Procurement Fraud Task Force, A Guide to Grant Oversight 
and Best Practices for Combating Grant Fraud (Washington, D.C., 
February 2009). 

[45] Although FEMA tries to issue its grant guidance on a regular 
schedule, it has not established official internal deadlines. 

[46] According to a program specialist responsible for administering 
the AFG and SAFER grant programs, the Policy Coordinating Group is 
composed of officials from within various entities within the agency. 
The group meets periodically to review draft grant guidance. 

[47] The Paperwork Reduction Act establishes the OMB review process 
that federal agencies are required to follow before collecting 
information from the public. See 44 U.S.C. §§ 3506-3507. 

[48] OMB officials stated that obtaining a routine clearance typically 
requires about 120 days. 

[49] GAO, National Emergency Grants: Labor Is Instituting Changes to 
Improve Award Process, but Further Actions Are Required to Expedite 
Grant Awards and Improve Data, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-04-496] (Washington, D.C.: April 16, 
2004). 

[50] [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1]. 

[51] The Project Management Institute, The Standard for Program 
Management© (2006). See also GAO, Information Sharing Environment: 
Definition of the Results to be Achieved in Improving Terrorism-Related 
Information Sharing Is Needed to Guide Implementation and Assess 
Progress, [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-492] 
(Washington, D.C.: June 25, 2008). 

[52] Representatives we interviewed from five major national fire 
service organizations did not mention specific concerns related to the 
level of feedback provided to rejected applicants. 

[53] National Academy of Public Administration, Assistance to 
Firefighters Grant Program: Assessing Performance. 

[54] GAO, Health Resources and Services Administration: Many 
Underserved Areas Lack a Health Center Site, and the Health Center 
Program Needs More Oversight, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-723] (Washington, D.C.: Aug. 8, 
2008). 

[55] Pub. L. No. 110-161, 121 Stat. 1844 (2007). 

[56] Federal Emergency Management Agency, Assistance to Firefighters 
Grant Program and Application Guidance; Federal Emergency Management 
Agency, Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program 2008 Fire Prevention 
and Safety Grants; and Department of Homeland Security, Staffing for 
Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program and Application Guidance. 

[57] FEMA defines a volunteer fire department as one in which no 
members receive any compensation other than a length of service 
retirement program and insurance, whereas a career department is one in 
which all members are compensated for their services. A combination 
department is defined as having any number of both volunteer and career 
firefighters regardless of their proportion to one another. According 
to a FEMA program specialist responsible for administering the AFG and 
SAFER grant programs, combination departments also include paid on 
call/stipend departments. If a volunteer fire department provides 
stipends to its members or provides "pay-on-call" for its members, the 
department is considered to be combination. 

[58] Fire grant data for fiscal year 2007 and 2008 are current as of 
July 2009. 

[59] Although the first appropriation for the AFG grant program was 
made in fiscal year 2001, a program specialist responsible for 
administering the AFG and SAFER grant programs informed us that 
electronic data were not available until fiscal year 2002. 

[60] The first appropriation for the SAFER grant program was made in 
fiscal year 2005. 

[61] In its grant guidance, FEMA identified the following nine major 
fire service organizations: the Congressional Fire Service Institute, 
the International Association of Arson Investigators, the International 
Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of 
Firefighters, the International Society of Fire Service Instructors, 
the North American Fire Training Directors, the National Association of 
State Fire Marshals, the National Fire Protection Association, and the 
National Volunteer Fire Council. 

[62] National Procurement Fraud Task Force, A Guide to Grant Oversight 
and Best Practices for Combating Grant Fraud. 

[63] [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1]. These 
standards, issued pursuant to the requirements of the Federal Managers' 
Financial Integrity Act of 1982 (FMFIA), provide the overall framework 
for establishing and maintaining internal control in the federal 
government. Also pursuant to FMFIA, the Office of Management and Budget 
issued Circular A-123, revised December 21, 2004, to provide the 
specific requirements for assessing the reporting on internal controls. 
Internal control standards and the definition of internal control in 
Circular A-123 are based on GAO's Standards for Internal Control in the 
Federal Government. 

[64] National Academy of Public Administration, Assistance to 
Firefighters Grant Program: Assessing Performance. 

[65] The score sheet factors correspond with the evaluation factors 
stated in the SAFER grant guidance and application form for fiscal year 
2008. 

[66] The score sheet factors include six of the seven evaluation 
factors stated in the FP&S grant guidance for fiscal year 2008, but do 
not include the seventh factor related to an applicant's past 
performance. However, FEMA's Section Chief for the FP&S program advised 
us that FEMA's Program Office considers past performance as part of its 
award consideration. 

[67] The score sheet factors correspond with the evaluation factors 
stated in the FP&S grant guidance and application form for fiscal year 
2008. 

[68] H. Rep. No. 110-181, at 106 (2007). 

[69] Explanatory Statement, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, Pub. 
L. No. 110-161, 121 Stat. 1844 (Dec. 26, 2007). The explanatory 
statement was published in the December 17, 2007, daily edition of the 
Congressional Record, and the congressional direction for this GAO 
study appears on page H16096. 

[70] Grant applicants may submit more than one application for the fire 
grant. 

[71] In fiscal year 2008, these 15,544 applicants submitted a total of 
21,022 applications for AFG grants, as discussed above and in table 2. 

[72] For the AFG program, the Fire Act requires FEMA to ensure that 
awards are made to a variety of fire departments (volunteer, 
combination, and career) serving a variety of communities (urban, 
suburban, and rural). 15 U.S.C. § 2229(b)(9). More specifically, the 
Fire Act requires that volunteer and combination fire departments 
receive a proportion of the total AFG grant funding that is not less 
than the proportion of the U.S. population protected by those fire 
departments. 15 U.S.C. § 2229(b)(11). Like the Fire Act, the SAFER Act 
contains requirements for distributing grant funds between SAFER 
applicants. In particular, FEMA is required to set aside 10 percent of 
the annual SAFER Act appropriation for awarding hiring grants to 
volunteer or majority volunteer fire departments and at least another 
10 percent of the appropriation for awarding recruitment and retention 
grants, which are available to volunteer and combination fire 
departments. If FEMA awards less than 10 percent of the appropriation 
for hiring grants to volunteer or majority volunteer fire departments, 
it is required to transfer any unused amounts for the purpose of 
awarding recruitment and retention grants. In this way, the statute 
ensures that volunteer, majority volunteer, and combination fire 
departments are eligible for at least 20 percent of the annual SAFER 
Act appropriation in either hiring or recruitment and retention grants. 
See 15 U.S.C. § 2229a(a)(1)(H), (a)(2). 

[End of section] 

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