FEMA halts $30M to state

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has halted $29.9 million in reimbursements to the state of Mississippi for retrofitting homes after Hurricane Katrina, saying the state has failed to provide documentation, overspent and appears to have had lax oversight over the program.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General released a report that states that the Mississippi Emergency Managment Agency has not been able to provide documentation for around $30.5 million that was paid to contractors to retrofit 985 homes on the coast. The original program was approved to retrofit 2,000 homes for $29.9 million.

The OIG has recommended, and FEMA agreed, that the federal government “deobligate” the money until Mississippi can reconcile what it claims it spent. If Mississippi can’t convince the feds its spending was proper, the state could be on the hook for all or part of the spending.

Clarion Ledger