Debris Removal >> Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood

In some cases, tree removal actions were either unnecessarily expensive or later found to be ineligible. In another case, state prisoners were used to help the elderly and disabled to get their debris out to curbside, and the cost of this assistance was disqualified. A review of 36 recent OIG audits of debris removal subgrantees, generally counties and cities, showed the wide range of adverse effects and possible requirements for repayment that can result from Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood problems during the initiation of debris removal operations:  

In eight cases, contracts were awarded without having been properly competed, or had major changes without the required competition. In seven cases, Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood tree removal operations (primarily leaning trees and hanging branches) were improperly conducted or accounted for. In five cases, ineligible debris, such as from private or ineligible property, was charged under FEMA accounts. 

FEMA's Oversight and Management of Debris Removal Operations Page 16 In five cases, ineligible contracts, Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood such as time and materials contracts, were used after the first 70-hour eligibility period. In four cases, local governments charged ineligible local employee expenses (regular or straight time as opposed to the eligible overtime expenses) to FEMA.  

In two cases, accounting was inadequate and/or contractors had overbilled local governments, which had passed the excessive charges on to FEMA. Conclusion Local governments need clear and consistent guidance governing the initiation of debris removal operations. Without such guidance, Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood contracts can be awarded that result in higher costs to both the local government and FEMA, or can even result in communities having to return funds to FEMA. 

Debris collection rules and regulations need to be clear enough that state and local stakeholders can understand them readily and obtain consistent interpretations from FEMA officials. FEMA needs to continue to enhance ongoing training and outreach concerning debris collection rules and Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood procedures, highlighting changes and new developments. 

Recommendations We recommend that the Associate Administrator, Response and Recovery: Recommendation #2: To the greatest extent possible, provide applicants, FEMA employees, and other appropriate officials clear and unambiguous rules, guidance, and Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood procedures for debris operations, including checklists and sample contracts. 

Recommendation #3: Work with the states to provide a variety of readily accessible training concerning rules, guidance, procedures, and recent developments in debris removal, contracting, and Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood cost containment. FEMA's Oversight and Management of Debris Removal Operations Page 17 

Management Comments and OIG Analysis FEMA generally concurs with both of these recommendations, Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood but does not agree that providing sample contracts is appropriate. FEMA officials fear that doing so may create a false expectation of reimbursement of costs even if applicants fail to follow competitive bidding procedures, the work performed is ineligible, or the contract is not monitored effectively. 

In addition, FEMA officials note that they are not able to account for the varying procurement requirements among states and localities. FEMA is committed to continue providing guidance for debris operations; the debris estimating and Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood monitoring guides have just been issued, and the Debris Management Guide is being revised. 

FEMA is continuing to make training available and is currently developing a computer-based training course on debris management plan development. We agree with the steps FEMA has taken and Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood is taking to provide guidance and training concerning debris operations. We acknowledge FEMA's concern with providing sample contracts and, in light of the new guidance that has been issued, we will reevaluate this portion of our recommendation. 

We will determine the status of these recommendations once we review the detailed corrective action plan in FEMA's 90 day letter. Conducting Debris Operations Debris removal operations, as categorized by FEMA, Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood occur in two phases: (1) initial debris clearance activities necessary to eliminate life and safety threats and (2) debris removal activities as a means to recovery. 

The initial debris clearance is an immediate post disaster effort that is frequently conducted by state and local employees and Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood volunteers, but can also be conducted by contractors. The subsequent debris removal operations constitute the bulk of FEMA-funded activities. Extensive FEMA rules and regulations govern these efforts, and millions of FEMA dollars are expended in even the smaller categories of disasters. 

The vast majority of funds are expended on contracted firms that collect debris, haul it to staging areas, Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood and subsequently remove debris that has been processed and sorted by type to landfills and other sites. FEMA's Oversight and Management of Debris Removal Operations Page 18 Other debris removal, frequently conducted by the same contractors, includes removing hanging branches and hazardous leaning trees. 

These operations are customarily reimbursed on a unit price basis (as are "white goods” such as refrigerators) and Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood also constitute a major expense category in debris removal operations. The third major expense is for monitoring. 

Monitors, either local government employees or employees of a monitoring contractor, Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood oversee a contractor's collection operations and the volume (and hence eligibility for payment) of the debris that contractors' trucks haul to collection or disposal sites. Most of the officials reported that debris is normally collected in a timely manner, enabling communities to proceed with recovery efforts. 

However, debris collection and monitoring efforts are often costly and many contractors are overpaid. Changes in FEMA policies could improve the cost-effectiveness of the debris removal program and Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood make the program easier for local officials to manage. Debris Collection Figure 7. Nashville flooding, FEMA Disaster No. DR 1909 TN (Source: FEMA) 

To be eligible for FEMA-funded collection, debris must be the result of a presidentially declared disaster, Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood located within the disaster area on the eligible applicant's (usually a city or county) improved property or right-of-way, and the legal responsibility of the applicant. 

FEMA allows applicants to charge FEMA for collecting debris from private residences if debris has been brought to curbside or Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood is otherwise placed on the local government's right FEMA's Oversight and Management of Debris Removal Operations Page 19 of-way. 

Debris brought to the curbside in gated communities, trailer parks, or other communities where the streets do not have city or Get Rid Of Trash From The Colorado Flood county right-of-way status does not qualify for collection except in cases where removal is necessary to provide access for emergency vehicles.

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