Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs

Accountability at FEMA: Is Quality Job #1?

Date: October 20, 2011
Time: 10:30am
Location: Dirksen Senate Office Building, SD-342

The purpose of this hearing was to examine front-end quality controls and business practices at FEMA that reduce errors, mitigate waste, fraud, and abuse, and ensure greater efficiency in the agency’s disaster response and recovery activities. It assessed FEMA’s efforts to and challenges in prioritizing and improving internal management controls across the agency. It also examined best practices already in use by other Federal agencies and analyze how these could be applied in FEMA programs. This hearing was a follow-up to a March 2011 Subcommittee hearing on FEMA’s efforts to recoup $643 million in improperly paid disaster assistance in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The recoupment hearing raised concerns about the agency’s internal controls, specifically regarding its ability to identify and prevent the errors that resulted in unnecessary and wasteful overpayments.


Panel 1

The Honorable



Deputy Administrator

Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Panel 1



Assistant Inspector General, Emergency Management Oversight

Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Panel 1

The Honorable



Vice President and Distinguished Visiting Scholar, The Mercatus Center

George Mason University

Panel 1



Vice President

Project Management Institute