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Thursday, March 01, 2007

FEMA urged to improve grants management

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Homeland Security Department's emergency preparedness division need to improve oversight and management of grants, lawmakers told agency officials Wednesday.

The calls for improvement come about a month before FEMA is slated to receive more responsibility for distributing grants. Matt Jadacki, DHS deputy inspector general for disaster assistance oversight, said FEMA "historically has had significant problems tracking, monitoring and closing mission assignments."

"FEMA faces a significant challenge in management/oversight of its disaster assistance grant program as well as the DHS grants programs that will become a part of FEMA on April 1," Jadacki told members at a joint hearing held by the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response, and the Subcommittee on Management, Investigations and Oversight.

He said about 2,700 grants, worth about $8.7 billion, have been executed for Hurricane Katrina alone. The DHS inspector general continues to conduct reviews of those grants, he said.

-Jonathan Marino, GovExec.com

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