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As of April 18, 2018, there are 5,184 open recommendations, of which 465 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.

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Results:

Federal Agency: "Federal Emergency Management Agency"

15 publications with a total of 40 open recommendations including 1 priority recommendation
Director: Marie A. Mak
Phone: (202) 512-4841

2 open recommendations
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should take the lead to work together with the Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revise the mission assignment policy and related guidance to better incorporate consideration of contracting needs, such as demobilization, and to ensure clear communication of coordination responsibilities related to contracting. (Recommendation 9)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should assess its workforce needs—including staffing levels, mission needs, and skill gaps—for contracting staff, to include regional offices and DART; and develop a plan, including timelines, to address any gaps. (Recommendation 10)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Director: Carol C. Harris
Phone: (202) 512-4456

8 open recommendations
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should ensure that the GMM program management office finalizes the organizational change management plan and time frames for implementing change management actions. (Recommendation 1)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should ensure that the GMM program management office plans and communicates its detailed transition activities to its affected customers before they transition to GMM and undergo significant changes to their processes. (Recommendation 2)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should ensure that the GMM program management office implements its planned changes to its processes for documenting requirements for future increments and ensures it maintains traceability among key IT requirements documents. (Recommendation 3)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should ensure that the GMM program management office updates the program schedule to address the leading practices for a reliable schedule identified in this report. (Recommendation 4)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should ensure that the FEMA Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) defines sufficiently detailed planned evaluation methods and actual evaluation methods for assessing security controls. (Recommendation 5)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should ensure that the FEMA OCIO approves a security assessment plan before security assessment reviews are conducted. (Recommendation 6)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should ensure that the GMM program management office follows DHS guidance on preparing corrective action plans for all security vulnerabilities. (Recommendation 7)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should ensure that the GMM program management office fully tests all of its security controls for the system. (Recommendation 8)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Director: Anne-Marie Fennell
Phone: (202) 512-3841

1 open recommendations
Recommendation: The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency should document in the agency's tribal consultation policy how agency officials are to communicate with tribes about how tribal input from consultation was considered in agency decisions on infrastructure projects. (Recommendation 12)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Director: Marie A. Mak
Phone: (202) 512-4841

9 open recommendations
Recommendation: FEMA's Administrator should update the strategy identified in its 2007 Advance Contracting of Goods and Services Report to Congress to clearly define the objectives of advance contracts, how they contribute to FEMA's disaster response operations, and whether and how they should be prioritized in relation to new post-disaster contract awards. (Recommendation 1)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: FEMA's Administrator should ensure the Head of the Contracting Activity updates the Disaster Contracting Desk Guide to include guidance for whether and under what circumstances contracting officers should consider using existing advance contracts prior to making new post-disaster contract awards, and include this guidance in existing semi-annual training given to contracting officers. (Recommendation 2)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: FEMA's Administrator should update and implement existing guidance for program office and contracting officer personnel to identify acquisition planning timeframes and considerations across the entire acquisition planning process, and clearly communicate the purpose and use of a Master Acquisition Planning Schedule (MAPS). (Recommendation 3)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: FEMA's Administrator should ensure the Head of the Contracting Activity adheres to current hard copy contract file management requirements to ensure advance contract files are complete and up to date, whether they will be transferred into the new Electronic Contract Filing System or remain in hard copy format. (Recommendation 4)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: FEMA's Administrator should ensure the Head of the Contracting Activity reminds contracting officers of the three day timeframe for entering completed award documentation into the contract writing system when executing notice to proceed documentation. (Recommendation 5)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: FEMA's Administrator should ensure the Head of the Contracting Activity revises its reporting methodology to ensure that all disaster contracts are included in its quarterly reports to congressional committees on disaster contract actions. (Recommendation 6)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: FEMA's Administrator should ensure the Head of the Contracting Activity revises the Disaster Contracting Officer Desk guide to provide specific guidance for contracting officers to perform outreach to state and local governments on the use and establishment of advance contracts. (Recommendation 7)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: FEMA's Administrator should ensure the Head of the Contracting Activity identifies a single centralized resource listing its advance contracts and ensure that source is updated regularly to include all available advance contracts. (Recommendation 8)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: FEMA's Administrator should ensure the Head of the Contracting Activity communicates information on available advance contracts through the centralized resource to states and localities to inform their advance contracting efforts. (Recommendation 9)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Director: Chris P. Currie
Phone: (202) 512-8777

3 open recommendations
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should fully document the underlying assumptions and justifications that form the basis of the risk-based grant assessment model, such as the size of the weights assigned to Threat, Vulnerability, and Consequence, or the justification for changes to these weights from one year to the next.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: Following the release or this GAO report, FEMA officials provided additional documentation, noting that FEMA maintains specific risk methodology folders and files for Fiscal Year 2012 to Fiscal Year 2019 (in preparation for the next grant year). According to FEMA officials, these grant program sub folders for each year contain files showing the weight makeup of the data elements, data sources documents, as well as information on the allocations for each year and MSA footprint information, and historical folders of previous allocations, model structures, risk profiles, and other risk methodology summary documents. We recognized FEMA's stakeholder feedback efforts in this report. However, as we noted, FEMA's documentation on the sources of data used for the model's calculations does not include information that would enable a reviewer to understand the underlying assumptions that form the basis for its risk-based grant assessment model. Pending issuance of additional information from FEMA, this recommendation will remain open. In order to fully implement this recommendation, documenting how subject matter expert assumptions are made would help FEMA increase the transparency of the model for key internal and external stakeholders, and will further support the efforts of an independent external peer review of FEMA's risk-based assessment model. As a result, this recommendation will remain open.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should perform sensitivity analyses to verify how changes to the risk-based grant assessment model could affect the resulting risk scores, and document the results.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: FEMA concurred with our recommendation, stating that the agency will expand the use of sensitivity analysis to review the entire risk methodology, and will also document these results for leadership review, as appropriate. Understanding the extent that uncertainty has on the results of the model can be especially important if the model produces materially different results in response to even small changes in assumptions-often referred to as the "sensitivity" or "robustness" of a model's assumptions and results. Developing a greater understanding of the how uncertainty affects its risk-based grant assessment model's results helps achieve the objectives of risk management. This recommendation will remain open.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should take steps to coordinate an independent, external peer review of its risk-based grant assessment model.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: FEMA concurred with our report recommendation, stating that they will coordinate an independent external peer review and develop a detailed written response to leadership for further appropriate action. This recommendation will remain open.
Director: Chris P. Currie
Phone: (404) 679-1875

1 open recommendations
Recommendation: The Administrator of FEMA should evaluate why regions are not completing the Regional Administrator's Validation and Recommendations for each element of the current IA regulatory factors and take corrective steps, if necessary.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: DHS concurred with the recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. In July 2018, DHS official stated that a working group of FEMA headquarters stakeholders prepared draft survey questions for FEMA region officials to identify the common reasons why an element of an IA regulatory factor may not be addressed within the RVAR. In October 2018, DHS stated that due to a significant increase in recent and ongoing disaster declaration activity and limited staff, the estimated completion date for implementing the recommendation was extended to February 2019. In February 2019, DHS officials stated that FEMA headquarters working group received and analyzed FEMA regions responses to the survey questions which identified several issues. The issues raised include missing data or not available in a timely manner, and lack of consistency in training or templates, among other issues that might lead to a factor or factors to not be addressed in the RVAR. However, DHS officials explained that FEMA does not intend to update the templates for the current IA regulatory factors to address the survey's findings, as FEMA anticipates finalizing the rulemaking in the near term which will substantially revise and reorganize the IA regulatory factors. The finalization of the rulemaking has been ongoing since 2015. GAO will keep the recommendation open and continue to monitor FEMA's actions in addition to its reliance on the rulemaking process.
Director: Mark Goldstein
Phone: (202) 512-2834

1 open recommendations
Recommendation: The Administrator of FEMA should work with regional emergency communications coordination working group members to reach consensus on and implement an ongoing mechanism to encourage nationwide collaboration across these groups, considering the costs of one or more suitable methods, such as a national-level working group that uses virtual or other means of coordination, as appropriate. (Recommendation 1)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Director: Allison Bawden
Phone: (202) 512-6806

2 open recommendations
Recommendation: The Assistant Administrator for Recovery should develop a detailed workforce plan that documents steps for hiring, training, and retaining key appeals staff. The plan should also address staff transitions resulting from deployments to disasters. (Recommendation 3)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: DHS concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. According to FEMA, to prepare for the potential production of a detailed regional workforce plan, PAAB has been collecting information from the Regions regarding the percentage of time (on a monthly basis) that each Regional appeals analyst has worked on appeals. In August 2018, PAAB shared with the Regions its preliminary analysis of this information and asked the Regions to provide feedback regarding the methods used to analyze this information. PAAB said that they intend to assess first-level appeals' regional inventory and timeliness issues, as well as the work needed to prepare and finalize a detailed regional workforce plan. According to FEMA, PAAB is also analyzing second-level appeal inventory and timeliness, and will continue to monitor second-level appeal timeliness. In September 2018, we met with FEMA officials to discuss their actions and request documentation. We will continue to monitor this to see what additional actions the agency takes in response to this recommendation.
Recommendation: The Assistant Administrator for Recovery should work with Regional Administrators in all 10 regional offices, to establish and use goals and measures for processing first-level PA appeals to monitor performance and report on progress. (Recommendation 4)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: DHS concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. According to FEMA, in July 2018, the Public Assistance Division and PAAB transmitted a survey to the Regions containing questions about how each Region establishes goals for processing first-level appeals and how each Region measures and monitors performance with respect to those goals. Thereafter, the Regions provided survey responses to PAAB. According to FEMA, PAAB has begun analyzing the survey responses for the purpose of enabling FEMA's Associate Administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery and FEMA's Chief of Staff to work with all FEMA Regional Administrators to establish and use goals and measures for processing first-level PA appeals to monitor performance and report on progress. We will continue to monitor this to see what additional actions the agency takes in response to this recommendation.
Director: Chris Currie
Phone: (404) 679-1875

4 open recommendations
Recommendation: The FEMA Assistant Administrator for Recovery should complete a workforce staffing assessment that identifies the appropriate number of staff needed at joint field offices, Consolidated Resource Centers, and in FIMA's hazard mitigation cadre to implement the new delivery model nationwide. (Recommendation 1)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency: Office of Response and Recovery: Assistant Administrator for Recovery
Status: Open

Comments: FEMA concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. As of September 2018, the Field Operations Directorate continues to conduct the 2018 Coordinated Workforce Review to update the agency's force structure targets for all cadres, including Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation, that identifies the appropriate number of staff needed at joint field offices, Consolidated Resource Centers, and in Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration's hazard mitigation cadre. Officials have developed preliminary modeling and estimates for the PA and HM cadre and expects to submit recommendations to the Administrator on force structure updates for the PA and HM cadres this year. External reviews of these recommendations and the development of an implementation timeline will follow. Officials plan to reevaluate the appropriate number of staff needed in the Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation cadres, and present recommendations to senior leadership, by the end of June 2019.
Recommendation: The FEMA Assistant Administrator for Recovery should establish system testing criteria, such as a "definition of done," to assess FAC-Trax as it is developed; define the roles and responsibilities of all participants; and develop the sequence and schedule for integration of other systems with FAC-Trax to more fully satisfy systems testing and integration controls. (Recommendation 3)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency: Office of Response and Recovery: Assistant Administrator for Recovery
Status: Open

Comments: FEMA concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. As of January 2018, officials have updated the FAC-Trax System Integration Plan to define the roles and responsibilities, sequence, and schedule for integration of FAC-Trax to interface with two key systems. Officials also established a "definition of done," to assess FAC-Trax as it is developed. Officials had planned to continue such actions to support integration with the State Grants Management systems and the Emergency Management Mission Integrated Environment system of record. However, the agency determined that an interface to the State Grants Management system is no longer needed, due to the states being able to access relevant information through the Grants Portal. Further, agency officials have indefinitely deferred the integration of the Emergency Management Mission Integrated Environment system with FAC-Trax. As of March 2019, FEMA officials informed us that the final determination on integration is pending. Until officials finalize their determination of whether to integrate FAC-Trax with the Emergency Management Mission Integrated Environment, and update the FAC-Trax System Integration Plan, if needed, we consider this recommendation open.
Recommendation: The FEMA Assistant Administrator for Recovery, in coordination with the Associate Administrator of the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, should implement procedures to standardize planning for addressing PA hazard mitigation at the joint field offices, for example, by requiring FEMA and state officials to develop a memorandum of understanding outlining how they will prioritize and address hazard mitigation following a disaster as it did through prior policy. (Recommendation 4)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency: Office of Response and Recovery: Assistant Administrator for Recovery
Status: Open

Comments: FEMA concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. As of January 2018, officials reported completing actions to analyze hazard mitigation data and develop solutions to improve program implementation, such as updated planning procedures for PA hazard mitigation. According to FEMA officials, these proposed solutions are being refined and tested. As of September 2018, FEMA has stood up the new 406 Mitigation Branch and is in the process of identifying which PA documents need updating based on updated hazard mitigation planning procedures. In March 2019, FEMA officials stated that the 406 Mitigation Branch is also coordinating with PA and the Field Operations Directorate on defining field roles and responsibilities, staffing, policies, and processes to ensure PA hazard mitigation at the joint field offices is standardized and thoroughly integrated into the recovery process. Until all the actions outlined by FEMA are completed the recommendation will remain open.
Recommendation: The FEMA Assistant Administrator for Recovery, in coordination with the Associate Administrator of the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, should develop performance measures and associated objectives for the new delivery model to better align with FEMA's strategic goal for hazard mitigation in the recovery process. (Recommendation 5)

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency: Office of Response and Recovery: Assistant Administrator for Recovery
Status: Open

Comments: FEMA concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to implement it. As of September 2018, officials reported completing activities to develop disaster-specific mitigation performance measures that align with strategic goals and analyzed available data to identify the drivers of mitigation in events of various sizes. Due to hiring delays associated with the establishment of the 406 Mitigation Branch, officials have extended the expected completion date for all actions, including proposing refined performance measures to FEMA senior leadership, to the end of January 2019.
Director: Alicia Puente Cackley
Phone: (202) 512-8678

1 open recommendations
Recommendation: To improve the transparency and accountability over the compensation paid to WYO companies and set appropriate compensation rates, the FEMA administrator should take into account WYO company characteristics that may impact companies' expenses and profits when developing the new compensation methodology and rates.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: According to FEMA officials, FEMA is responding to this recommendation as part of its development of a final rule on WYO compensation practices, required by the Biggert-Waters Act.
Director: Carol R. Cha
Phone: (202) 512-4456

1 open recommendations
Recommendation: As part of the effort of improving IT management at the three programs, the FEMA Administrator should direct the CIO to ensure that FEMA policy for managing IT programs includes guidance for implementing the key management practices.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: The Department of Homeland Security concurred with the recommendation. In June 2016, FEMA reported that the CIO is reviewing existing policies and guidance to identify gaps and revisions necessary to mature FEMA IT management practices. Subsequently, in its November 2016 update, FEMA reported that the System Owner for DAIP, EMMIE, and IPAWS have updated their respective IT management program and plans and coordinated with the FEMA CIO to address the risks identified within the recommendation. However, as of August 2018, the department had not provided supporting that these actions had been completed including evidence that its policy for management IT programs includes guidance for implementing key management practices. We will continue to its progress in implementing this recommendation.
Director: Mark Goldstein
Phone: (202) 512-2834

1 open recommendations
Recommendation: To further build on the efforts to improve emergency communications interoperability in the NCR, as part of its efforts to restructure the JFC, the Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator should direct the Director of ONCRC to clearly articulate in a written agreement the roles and responsibilities of the participating agencies and specify how these agencies are to work together across agency boundaries.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Director: Michele Mackin
Phone: (202) 512-4841

2 open recommendations
Recommendation: To improve coordination and communication between FEMA OCPO and region mission support officials region mission support officials, the FEMA Administrator should establish a plan to ensure that the agreement is reviewed on an annual basis as intended.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: In commenting on this report, DHS concurred with this recommendation. Though we were unable to obtain status information in 2018, according to FEMA officials in prior years, the Office of Procurement Operations had formed a team to address this recommendation. We will provide updated information as it becomes available from FEMA.
Recommendation: To improve coordination and communication between FEMA Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) and region mission support officials region mission support officials, the FEMA Administrator should direct OCPO and the regional administrators to revisit the 2011 service level agreement to: add details about the extent of operational control headquarters and regional supervisors should exercise to minimize potential competing interests experienced by regional contracting officers; further detail headquarters and regional supervisors' roles and responsibilities for managing regional contracting officers to improve coordination and communication; and ensure that the agreement reflects any new requirements, including recent changes in training that may require travel funds.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: In commenting on this report, DHS concurred with this recommendation. Though we were unable to obtain status information in 2018, according to FEMA officials in prior years, the Office of Procurement Operations had formed a team to address this recommendation. We will provide updated information as it becomes available from FEMA.
Director: Currie, Christopher
Phone: (404)679-3000

1 open recommendations
including 1 priority recommendation
Recommendation: To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the process for disaster declarations, the FEMA Administrator should develop and implement a methodology that provides a more comprehensive assessment of a jurisdiction's capability to respond to and recover from a disaster without federal assistance. This should include one or more measures of a jurisdiction's fiscal capacity, such as TTR, and consideration of the jurisdiction's response and recovery capabilities. If FEMA continues to use the PA per capita indicator to assist in identifying a jurisdiction's capabilities to respond to and recover from a disaster, it should adjust the indicator to accurately reflect the annual changes in the U.S. economy since 1986, when the current indicator was first adopted for use. In addition, implementing the adjustment by raising the indicator in steps over several years would give jurisdictions more time to plan for and adjust to the change.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: On January 20, 2016, FEMA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit comments on an option FEMA is considering to establish a disaster deductible, which would require a predetermined level of financial or other commitment from a recipient, generally the state or territorial government, before FEMA would provide assistance under the Public Assistance Program. According to FEMA, the agency received 150 responses during the 60-day public comment period, which ended on March 21, 2016, and used this input to develop a plan for further engagement on a more detailed proposal for public comment. The Supplemental Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published on January 12, 2017, provided another opportunity for stakeholder input prior to any changes to the Public Assistance program. This proposal included an explanation of how deductible amounts might be calculated, identified specific credits that states could apply for, and detailed how the deductible would be applied post-declaration. According to FEMA officials, the comments received, in part, raised concerns about the complexity of the proposed deductible model. FEMA agreed with the concerns raised that the proposal was too complicated, and in August 2018, told us that it is no longer pursuing that option. However, FEMA is considering options that leverage similar approaches but does not have an estimated completion date for implementation. Until FEMA implements a new methodology, FEMA will not have an accurate assessment of a jurisdiction's capabilities to respond to and recover from a disaster without federal assistance and runs the risk of recommending that the President award Public Assistance to jurisdictions that have the capability to respond and recover on their own.
Director: Maurer, Diana C
Phone: (202) 512-9627

3 open recommendations
Recommendation: To help ensure that FEMA's agencywide workforce planning and training efforts are conducted in a comprehensive and integrated manner, the FEMA Administrator should identify and document long-term and quantifiable mission critical goals that reflect the agency's priorities for workforce planning and training.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: In October 2016, agency officials said they had contracted for the development of a Workforce Strategic Plan that is intended to assess current steady state staffing needs based on mission requirements and establish workforce models capable of determining future needs based on workload drivers. Further, they said the plan will monitor and evaluate FEMA's progress towards mission critical goals and the contribution that human capital results have made towards achieving programmatic priorities. In July 2017, they provided an updated estimate that the plan will be completed by June 2020. Pending completion of this effort, the recommendation will remain open. As of October 2018, GAO is continuing review of these actions
Recommendation: To help ensure that FEMA's agencywide workforce planning and training efforts are conducted in a comprehensive and integrated manner, the FEMA Administrator should establish a time frame for completing the development of quantifiable performance measures related to workforce planning and training efforts.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: In October 2016, agency officials said they had contracted for the development of a Workforce Strategic Plan that is intended to assess current steady state staffing needs based on mission requirements and establish workforce models capable of determining future needs based on workload drivers. Once complete, they said the plan will identify performance metrics to track FEMA's progress towards mission critical goals regarding workforce planning and training efforts. In July 2017, they provided an updated estimate that the plan will be completed by September 2020. Pending completion of this effort, the recommendation will remain open. As of October 2018, GAO is continuing review of these actions
Recommendation: To better inform FEMA's decision-making related to agencywide workforce planning and training efforts, the FEMA Administrator should develop systematic processes to collect and analyze workforce and training data.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security: Directorate of Emergency Preparedness and Response: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Status: Open

Comments: In July 2017, officials reported that FEMA's Chief Component Human Capital Office was preparing a Training Plan that will outline the collection and analysis methodology of training data with an estimated completion date of September 2018. Pending documentation of the results of these efforts, this recommendation will remain open. As of October 2018, GAO is continuing review of these actions