Fire Protection District Issues Payment to FEMA for $213,648
BOONE COUNTY — The Fire District board of directors issued payment of $213,648 to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during a meeting Thursday because the Office of Inspector General (OIG) audited preparedness grants and deployment reimbursements provided to the Boone County Fire Protection District from Sept. 27, 2002 to Dec. 5, 2007.
The reason for the audit was to determine whether the Fire District expended and accounted for US&R funds according to federal regulations and FEMA guidelines. The Fire District is the sponsoring the Missouri Task Force One under FEMA's National Urban Search and Rescue Response (US&R) System Program.
The OIG audited $4.1 million in FEMA reimbursements to the Fire District for five preparedness grants awarded between fiscal years 2002 and 2006 and another $2.2 million for six Task Force deployments to disaster events that occurred between 2005 and 2007. Except for the grants awarded for fiscal years 2002 and 2003, the other grant awards had not been closed.
Initially, the OIG recommended that the Fire District pay back $752,453 to FEMA ($466,920 in ineligible costs and $285,533 in unsupported costs). After an exhaustive amount of work and extensive amount of time by the Fire District and FEMA staff, both the Fire District and FEMA were able to refute many findings from the original audit.
Consequently, the OIG and FEMA have determined that the Fire District should now pay $213,648. The bill for collection was received by the Fire District August 7 of this year.
The Fire District board of directors voted to dispute two findings within the current audit findings and will follow FEMA and OIG guidelines in filing the dispute.