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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 44 open recommendations including 1 priority recommendation
Director: Elizabeth Curda
Phone: (202) 512-7215

5 open recommendations
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should develop and publicize guidance for partners working to assist individuals who are older or have disabilities for requesting data and working with FEMA staff throughout the data sharing process to obtain Individual Assistance data, as appropriate. (Recommendation 1)

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

Comments: DHS agreed with this recommendation and has plans to address it. Specifically, FEMA is developing new, enhanced templates, policies and guidance for field staff to facilitate data sharing with states and other partners. The agency also reported that it is expanding its Open FEMA datasets to provide more autonomous, self-service sharing of aggregated data to fulfill partner data needs when personally identifiable information data is not required. FEMA plans to publish data sharing guidelines on its web site by March 31, 2020 on how to obtain FEMA data to best service individuals who are older or have disabilities.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should improve communication of registrants' disability-related information across FEMA programs, such as by developing an alert within survivor files that indicates an accommodation request. (Recommendation 3)

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

Comments: FEMA disagreed with this recommendation, noting that it lacks specific funding to augment the legacy data systems that capture and communicate registration information. Also, FEMA began a long-term initiative in April 2017 to improve data management and exchange, and improve overall data quality and standardization. The agency expects the initiative to include the development of a modern, cloud-based data storage system with a data analytics platform that will allow analysts, decision makers, and stakeholders more ready access to FEMA data. After the completion of this initiative, FEMA expects that efforts to share and flag specific disability-related data will be much easier. Our recommendation, however, is not solely focused on system changes: other cost-effective ways may improve communication of registrants' disability-related information prior to implementing the system upgrades. For example, as noted in the report, FEMA officials handling different stages of the disaster assistance process may overlook disability-related needs recorded in the case file notes. FEMA could revise its guidance to remind program officials to review the notes to identify whether there is a record of any such needs. As FEMA moves ahead with its data improvement initiatives, we encourage it to consider and ultimately implement technology changes, such as developing an alert within files that indicates an accommodation request. Such improvements would be consistent with the recommendation and help improve communication across FEMA programs.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should establish and disseminate a set of objectives for FEMA's new disability integration approach. (Recommendation 4)

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

Comments: DHS agreed with this recommendation and has plans to address it. Specifically, FEMA's Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC) is developing its 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, which will establish objectives, milestones and tactics to implement its approach to disability integration. This will involve clarifying roles and responsibilities among offices with overlapping responsibilities for disability integration, including training. ODIC is also developing a communication plan to socialize the Strategic Plan throughout the agency.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should communicate to Regional Administrators and Regional Disability Integration Specialists a written plan for implementing its new disability integration staffing approach, consistent with the objectives established for disability integration. Such a plan should include an implementation timeline and details on staff responsibilities, which regions could use to evaluate staff performance. (Recommendation 5)

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

Comments: DHS agreed with this recommendation, reporting that it is developing a project plan to implement the proposed staffing approach in the Regions. The plan will include implementation timelines, detailed roles and responsibilities for the proposed Disability Integration Advisor positions, a force structure for each Region, and recommendations to the Regional Administrator to establish performance metrics for the new positions that support the overall approach to disability integration. The plan will be presented to the Administrator for review and concurrence in 2019.
Recommendation: The FEMA Administrator should develop a plan for delivering training to FEMA staff that promotes competency in disability awareness. The plan should include milestones and performance measures, and outline how performance will be monitored. (Recommendation 6)

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

Comments: FEMA agreed with this recommendation and has plans to improve disability competencies among FEMA staff, but it does not include training. Specifically, FEMA is developing a plan to include a disability integration competency in the position task books for all deployable staff, rather than through training. Position task books outline the required activities, tasks, and behaviors for each job, and serve as a record for task completion. The plan will also include a communications and outreach plan; milestones for measuring the effectiveness of the integration of this competency across the agency; and a monitoring plan and milestones to measure the overall integration of this competency across the deployable workforce. However, the plan doesn't cover how it will deliver training to promote competency in disability awareness among its staff, including milestones, performance measures, and how performance will be monitored.
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: DHS concurred with this recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement it.
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: DHS concurred with this recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement it.
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: DHS concurred with this recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement it.
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: DHS concurred with this recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement it.
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: DHS concurred with this recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement it.
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: DHS concurred with this recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement it.
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: DHS concurred with this recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement it.
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: DHS concurred with this recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement it.
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: 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: DHS concurred with our recommendation. DHS stated they solicit member recommendations and use this input to develop a proposed national engagement approach with projected resources and begin implementing the approach in late 2019. We will follow up on DHS's actions to implement the recommendation.
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: ONCRC, with the re-established JFC Executive Committee, has drafted a new charter for the reconstituted JFC that will address roles and responsibilities of participating agencies and how they are to work together. The draft charter is in final review by the JFC and FEMA. Upon coordination and approval within FEMA, the approved JFC Charter will be final. Expected completion date is October 2019.
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