Debris Removal >> Roofing Removal Tips

Assess weight-based rather than volume based payment for debris collection and investigate whether such systems could be efficiently linked to debris payment accounting systems. Management Comments and OIG Analysis FEMA generally concurs with all of these recommendations, but notes that the Agency is not a party to contracts between applicants and Roofing Removal Tips contractors. 

Therefore, the Agency cannot require the use of advance technology as monitoring tools. FEMA acknowledges that weight-based monitoring and payment systems have some advantages over volume-based systems, but said these are not immune from potential waste, fraud, and abuse and still require proper monitoring and Roofing Removal Tips oversight to be effective. 

FEMA is considering revisions to its regulations that would incorporate the force account straight time labor reimbursement component of the PA Pilot Program. FEMA is updating its guidance in both the Debris Contracting Guidance Fact Sheet and Roofing Removal Tips the Debris Monitoring Guide to stress that debris monitors should not have a relationship with debris removal contractors. 

FEMA stays abreast of current technologies in order to provide appropriate technical assistance to applicants when they are considering technology applications as part of their monitoring operations. FEMA also can provide appropriate funding, such as for the rental of temporary scales, Roofing Removal Tips during debris operations.

We agree with the steps that FEMA is taking to improve the conduct of debris operations. We understand that FEMA is not a party to contracts between applicants and contractors and cannot require the use of advance technology as monitoring tools. However, FEMA can encourage the use of cost-effective advance technology for monitoring, such as weight-based monitoring and payment systems, by publicizing and Roofing Removal Tips encouraging the use of these systems including offering financial incentives. 

We will determine the status of these recommendations when we receive the detailed corrective action plan in FEMA's 90 day letter. FEMA's management and oversight of debris operations is subject to many of the overall challenges associated with managing the complex and Roofing Removal Tips geographically diverse Public Assistance program.

For example, our December 2009 report 3 concluded that the implementation of FEMA's PA program was hindered by untimely funding determinations, deficiencies in program management, Roofing Removal Tips and poorly designed performance measures. The report identified opportunities for improvement in a number of areas relevant to debris removal operations: 

Inconsistent and tardy eligibility determinations Inaccurate costs and scopes of work in initial project worksheets Undue delays and deferrals in making decisions regarding cost overruns and Roofing Removal Tips scope changes prior to closeout Insufficient detail regarding scopes of work Inappropriate negotiations with subgrantees on eligibility 

Failure to accept subgrantees' supporting documentation Repetitive documentation requests Unreasonable cost estimates The report concluded that these program management deficiencies are caused principally by turnover, inexperience, Roofing Removal Tips and lack of training within FEMA's disaster workforce. 

We reported that these capability gaps are exacerbated by the need for a clear and consolidated body of PA guidance, and highlighted debris issues specifically in the following summary: FEMA's policy on debris removal is unclear and thus open to interpretation. As a result, some communities have been denied eligibility for debris removal costs, Roofing Removal Tips while others have received reimbursements for identical costs. 

About $180 million in debris removal costs after the 2004–2005 disasters in Florida demonstrate the significance of clarifying the debris removal policy. Our current review confirmed some of these earlier observations but also identified additional opportunities for improvement in management and Roofing Removal Tips oversight of the debris program.

Since large-scale debris events are fortunately rare, plans, systems,and processes cannot be easily tested in a "real-time" environment. Many of our observations and findings regarding FEMA's management and Roofing Removal Tips oversight of debris operations reflect the perceptions of front line personnel and have not been validated in an actual debris-generating event.

Management and Oversight Structure and Approach FEMA manages and Roofing Removal Tips oversees debris operations through multiple components, including a headquarters policy office, 10 regional offices, and disaster-specific field command organizations. FEMA's Public Assistance Division, Policy and Regulations Branch, in Washington, DC, develops and oversees the implementation of the full range of policies and regulations. 

Two employees in this branch work exclusively on debris removal policies and regulations. Branch employees also develop training materials for use nationally to create awareness and Roofing Removal Tips understanding of current and emerging debris management issues. Headquarters staff occasionally deliver this training in person or in coordination with FEMA regional staff.

A Debris Task Force is appointed for each major disaster. The Task Force is based at the Joint Field Office and Roofing Removal Tips comprises a Debris Team Leader, one or more Debris Technical Specialists,and one or more Debris Monitoring Specialists. The Task Force often includes personnel from other federal and state agencies. 

It is charged with establishing a framework for FEMA assistance for debris operations and creating a historical record. It also creates a specific debris strategy for major events. We reviewed the strategy documents for Hurricane Ike and the 2010 central Tennessee floods, Roofing Removal Tips and they were comprehensive and actionable. 

Although FEMA regions normally send one or two permanent,full-time employees to an event (who may include debris specialists from another FEMA region), Roofing Removal Tips most of the Debris Task Force is comprised of FEMA disaster assistance employees(DAEs). As one FEMA regional official told us, "The DAEs do the heavy lifting." Problems arise since DAEs are not always debris specialists, whereas applicants depend almost solely on their advice. 

Regional officials said the DAE debris expertise is thinning due to turnover and burnout.Surge Capacity Is Crucial As discussed earlier, Roofing Removal Tips decisions made in the first few days after a disaster are critical in determining the success of a debris removal operation. 

This decision making takes place at a time, however,when state and local officials, the primary decision makers, Roofing Removal Tips are overwhelmed by more immediate problems such as assisting endangered residents, clearing access to hospitals and other vital routes, and restoring electricity, water, and other critical services. 

The consensus among regional, state, and local officials interviewed is that FEMA must do a better job of providing rapid and sufficient surge resources with the capability, skills, Roofing Removal Tips and authority to drive key initiation and early implementation decisions. As the entity that funds from 75% to 100% of eligible debris removal costs, FEMA has a vested interest in ensuring optimal decision making and project control. 

Further, given the complex web of organizations that have a role in a typical disaster, state and local government agencies, other federal agencies, private sector contractors, nonprofit organizations, and voluntary organizations, there is no substitute for clear, Roofing Removal Tips focused leadership.

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