Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) November 05, 2012
States affected by Hurricane Sandy will be eligible for what will be substantial amounts of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance funds, and will distribute them through subgrant agreements with local governments, public works authorities and other entities. In the latest e-strategy from Federal Fund Management Advisor, federal grants expert Bob Lloyd provides help to organizations that will be administering these awards. Read “Tips for Managing FEMA Disaster Assistance Funds” at http://federalfundmanagement.com/e-strategies/tips-managing-fema-disaster-assistance-funds.
The rules that govern FEMA’s State Public Assistance Program allow for relaxed accountability practices, but that doesn’t mean they can be completely disregarded. The threshold that triggers an Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 audit is $500,000, an amount that, Mr. Lloyd predicts, will likely be reached “given the volume of federal assistance expenditures that is going to result from this incident.” And he writes, “unfortunately, because many of the grantees and subgrantees…are dealing with disaster assistance funds for the first time — or in an unprecedented volume — some of the same grants management mistakes surface each time a new set of disaster declarations is made.”
Among the common audit findings that could arise from audits of disaster assistance expenses, and that Mr. Lloyd addresses in his e-strategy, include:
- Poor Project Accounting — Be sure to maintain a system that can account for FEMA funds on a project-by-project (award-by-award) basis and that can show funds received, disbursements and reference source documentation.
- Unsupported Costs — Costs claimed under FEMA awards must be fully and adequately documented in accordance with the applicable OMB cost principles. The unfortunate circumstance in disaster response and recovery is that grantees and subgrantees often fail to obtain and retain source documentation such as employee timesheets, invoices and receipts.
- Duplication of Benefits — Regulations prohibit duplication of benefits such as receiving disaster funding for activities covered by insurance benefits, yet many grantees and subgrantees fail to deduct these amounts from their federal clams.
To read the full e-strategy, which also includes suggested best practices, visit http://federalfundmanagement.com/e-strategies/tips-managing-fema-disaster-assistance-funds.
About Bob Lloyd
Bob Lloyd, principal of Federal Fund Management Advisor, is a respected authority on policies and practices affecting the award, administration and oversight of federal grants, contracts and subawards, with nearly 40 years of experience in federal award implementation. Mr. Lloyd has provided consulting assistance to state and local disaster assistance agencies and to private charitable groups that have responded to presidentially declared disasters since 1989. In addition, he has, on numerous occasions, served as an instructor on federal grants management at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute campus in Emmitsburg, Md., where FEMA staff and employees of FEMA grantees receive extensive in-service training. He is the principal author of several reference works on federal grants management and audits, and currently serves as contributing editor to Federal Grants News and Federal Auditing News, published jointly by Atlantic Information Services and NACUBO. He also is a Charter Life Member of the National Grants Management Association and served on its Board of Directors for five years.
About Federal Fund Management Advisor
Federal Fund Management Advisor is an organization that sponsors Federal Funding webinars and delivers free Federal Funding E-Strategies. Visit http://www.FederalFundManagement.com for more information and to browse the full archive of e-strategies.