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DHS audit says Joplin Schools mismanaged, jeopardized FEMA funds

The Department of Homeland Security released a report about an audit about the mismanagement of millions of dollars from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant funds stemming from the 2011 tornado. Read more details including that full report here:

In that 43-page report, the DHS says “Joplin Schools did not account for and expend $187.3 million of $218.5 million of the requested Federal share of grant funds according to Federal regulations and guidelines when it awarded 146 contracts for non-exigent work. Specifically, Joplin Schools:

  •  did not comply with Federal procurement regulations for
    contract provisions and affirmative steps in awarding
    construction contracts;
  • did not comply with Federal procurement regulations in
    awarding its grant management contract; and
  • claimed ineligible direct administrative costs related to its grant
    management contract.”

They say “this occurred because Joplin School officials were either unaware of or did not understand procurement regulations. Joplin School officials also disregarded Missouri’s authority and relied heavily on the advice of their grant management contractor.”

So why was this audit done?

The DHS states, “As of December 2017, Missouri had granted Joplin Schools $152.7 million in FEMA Public Assistance Program grant funds for damages caused by a May 22, 2011 tornado. Joplin Schools claimed $218.5 million in disaster-related costs, which is $65.8 million more than the FEMA award. Our audit objective was to determine whether Joplin Schools accounted for and expended FEMA disaster grant funds according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines.”

The DHS report goes on to recommend that FEMA improve its management and oversight of the grant process and not allow $187.3 million in ineligible costs claimed by JoplinSchool District.

Click here to see the audit in its entirety

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