FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Heather Handyside
Dept. of Homeland Security Implements Begich’s Recommendations on FEMA Transparency
Inspector General Takes Steps to Act on $1.4 Billion in Taxpayer Savings
In response to U.S. Senator Mark Begich urging action on $1.4 billion in cost savings during a hearing in July, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has made changes to its website that give the public and Congress more visibility over key cost-saving recommendations. Begich is the Chair of the Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“We need to make sure FEMA is spending our money wisely, and this announcement is a welcome step towards making the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA more transparent,” said Begich. “When the public knows more we’re all better off, and I’m pleased that Congress now has another tool to hold FEMA and other federal agencies accountable. From my role as Chair of Subcommittee on Emergency Management I will continue to push to make sure we see action on the billions in cost savings.”
The hearing was being held in response to the release of a report by the Subcommittee that found more FEMA could yield $1.4 billion in cost savings through more efficient operations. By identifying current challenges and shortfalls, the report aims to assure preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation programs are being handled in a way that saves taxpayer dollars and supports an economical approach to disaster assistance.
Click to watch Begich at July’s hearing, video begins at 15:25
The questions came during a conversation about the agency’s compliance with Inspector General recommendations that are made following investigations. These recommendations are key for addressing challenges that affect State, Tribal, and local homeland security and emergency management stakeholders around the country. As a result of the Begich’s suggestions, the OIG has posted a chart listing all open recommendations and the affected components on their public web site. This will be updated periodically, and the Office is will continue to develop additional ways to give the public and Congress further detail on the status of open recommendations. The open recommendations can be found on the Inspector General’s website.
For more information on Begich’s work on emergency management and homeland security issues please visit his Senate website.