Interim Report on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Organization and Management Systems

GGD-82-24: Published: Dec 7, 1981. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 1981.

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GAO issued an interim report on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) management systems and organizational structure. The interim report was issued because GAO wanted to: (1) underscore the severity of the management and organizational problems that have plagued FEMA since it was created; (2) inform FEMA of the specific areas that it will focus on during the detailed review; and (3) give FEMA management an opportunity to take corrective actions or, at a minimum, establish plans for corrective actions before the final report is issued.

FEMA organizational and management problems have been exacerbated by a lack of an agencywide management system and deficiencies in accounting, budgeting, personnel, and evaluation functions. Employee morale has also suffered due to a lack of understanding of the roles and responsibilities of FEMA organizational staffs and units. However, GAO stated that the current FEMA management has exerted a substantial amount of energy in an attempt to mitigate these deficiencies. GAO concluded that, for the remainder of its review, it would work with the FEMA staff in developing recommendations for a management system that will integrate the top management, program offices, regional offices, and administrative support functions into a framework designed to fulfill the defined FEMA mission.

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