GAO: FEMA tiptoes into fixing problems
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Dec 10, 2008
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has taken preliminary steps to
deal with most of the approximately 300 requirements set by Congress in
its legislation passed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, according to a
report from the Government Accountability Office. Meanwhile, FEMA said
it is upgrading its information technology systems.
report presents a partial audit of actions taken by FEMA from April
through November to implement the Post-Katrina Emergency Management
Reform Act of 2006, GAO said its time was too limited to permit a full
FEMA has begun to fulfill requirements for
improved organizational structure, emergency communications, logistics,
contracting and information technology, among other areas, states the
report, signed by William Jenkins, director of homeland security and
justice issues for GAO. The document was posted on GAO’s Web site Dec.
“We have noted that DHS and FEMA have at least preliminary
action under way to address most of the act’s provisions,” the report
said. “We also noted that FEMA and [the Homeland Security Department]
have much work remaining to fully implement the act’s provisions.”
improvements on FEMA’s information technology, FEMA officials said they
will begin integrating the information in its three personnel and asset
tracking systems in fiscal 2009, the report said.
intends to achieve a more seamless information-sharing environment
among its asset-tracking systems, resulting in a more integrated common
operating picture for FEMA management,” the report said.
addition, FEMA reported to the GAO that as of Aug. 1, 2008, all 10 FEMA
regions had the ability to electronically track all orders, shipments
in transit, and shipments received of its disaster commodities and
assets in real-time status. In September, FEMA began linking its
tracking systems to those of the Defense Logistics Agency, the Army
Corps of Engineers and the American Red Cross to enable those
organizations to better coordinate shipments of disaster commodities,
the report said.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.