Civil Defense:

FEMA's Management Controls Need Strengthening

NSIAD-88-52: Published: Dec 31, 1987. Publicly Released: Dec 31, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) control over the use of civil defense program funds, particularly its: (1) control over noncompetitive grant and contract awards; (2) allocation of funds to state and local governments; and (3) use of civil defense funds to meet program objectives.

GAO found that FEMA: (1) did not adequately monitor state and local government compliance with its civil defense program requirements; (2) regional offices allocated funds to states for programs that did not meet civil defense program objectives; (3) records failed to document its justifications for sole-source awards or attempt to identify other sources; (4) personnel lacked procurement expertise and followed practices that left FEMA vulnerable to abuse of procurement rules; and (5) attributed problems to a lack of staff and inadequate travel funds to monitor these activities. GAO also found that FEMA: (1) issued new guidelines for comprehensive cooperative agreements and provided additional training for supervisors, management, and project staffs; (2) established an internal audit group to regularly audit comprehensive cooperative agreements and provided additional travel funds to regional offices; (3) created a new position responsible for training and monitoring procurement activities; and (4) reorganized its National Emergency Training Center to improve supervisory control.

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