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Public Assistance Grants are Subject to OIG Audits

Public Assistance funding is on a reimbursement basis, however, there is risk of funding deobligation (return) for ineligible spending or non-compliance with federal requirements, like procurement, environmental compliance or documentation.

FEMA requires applicants to follow specific grant and federal requirements associated with grant funding. Good documentation facilitates proper project formulation, validation, approval, and funding processes. The Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide provides specific details on eligibility and requirements.

The Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) of the Department of Homeland Security performs audits of FEMA grant awards. If partial costs are unsupported or ineligible per the grant requirements, the full project or contract may be disallowed See the options on the left as “Disallow Costs” or “Should Recover Costs”.  

Some of the most common OIG audit findings include poor contracting practices, unsupported costs, poor project accounting, duplication of benefits/application of insurance proceeds, excessive equipment charges, and excessive labor & benefit charges.

DHS OIG can  recommend to FEMA that deobligations be made. Deobligations of funds are made to the (Grantee) Recipient (states, territories).  Thirty plus (30%+) of DHS OIG audits generally have resulted in OIG recommending deobligations of all or part of project funding. Appeals can appeal FEMA actions that result from OIG audits. See Audit Findings Appeals.

The OIG reports shown below are from the Audits, Inspections, and Evaluations page from the DHS Office of Inspector General.

FEMA Should Disallow Certain or All Costs

FEMA Should All or Part of the Costs

FEMA OIG  Applicant Audits


OIG Disaster Specific Audits

Applicant Generally Followed Regulations or Managed Public Assistance

OIG Audits of State Granteed Actions and Activities

OIG Audits of FEMA Actions and Activities