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Hurricane Katrina: Improving Federal Contracting Practices in Disaster Recovery Operations

GAO-06-714T Published: May 04, 2006. Publicly Released: May 04, 2006.
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The devastation experienced throughout the Gulf Coast region in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita has called into question the government's ability to effectively respond to such disasters. The government needs to understand what went right and what went wrong, and to apply these lessons to strengthen its disaster response and recovery operations. The federal government relies on partnerships across the public and private sectors to achieve critical results in preparing for and responding to natural disasters, with an increasing reliance on contractors to carry out specific aspects of its missions. This testimony discusses how three agencies--the General Services Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps)--conducted oversight of 13 key contracts awarded to 12 contractors for hurricane response, as well as public and private sector practices GAO identified that provide examples of how the federal government could better manage its disaster-related procurements.

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Best practicesBest practices methodologyContract administrationContract oversightDisaster planningDisaster recoveryDisaster recovery plansEmergency managementEmergency preparednessFederal procurementFederal procurement policyHurricane KatrinaHurricane RitaHurricanesInteragency relationsLabor forceLessons learnedNatural disastersPersonnel managementPrivate sector practicesProcurement planningProcurement practices