Report 2011-103 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2011-103: California's Mutual Aid System: The California Emergency Management Agency Should Administer the Reimbursement Process More Effectively (Release Date: January 2012)

Recommendation #1 To: Emergency Management Agency

To make certain that emergency response agencies receive reimbursements on time, Cal EMA should establish procedures to ensure that paying entities do not delay reimbursements.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

Since our last annual update, Phase II of the reimbursement program has moved forward. Cal OES is currently in the process of hiring Limited Term Information Technology positions to manage, design, implement and conclude the project for statewide use and distribution amongst the fire service as well as the signatory reimbursement agencies. Cal OES' continuous goal of improving and speeding up the reimbursement timelines is one of our agency's highest priorities and is always at the forefront of our day-to-day operations and business.

We are targeting December 2018 to have the first phase of the new system implemented.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Partially Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

Since our last annual update, Phase II of the reimbursement program has yet to move forward. The business requirements for this program have been prepared and are being prioritized for bidding. Cal OES continues to work cooperatively with the reimbursement entities to minimize delays, and it continues to be our goal to find ways of improving and speeding up the reimbursement timelines.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 10/17/2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

Since our last annual follow up, all signatories have signed the 2015-2019 California Fire Assistance Agreement and is currently in use. However, with the negotiation process, new procedures were required and implemented for Local Government to receive reimbursement. Cal OES Fire and Rescue staff is working diligently to implement the required changes to expedite our processing, and we continue to work cooperatively with the reimbursing entities to minimize any potential delays. Cal OES will begin to plan Phase II of the new mutual aid reimbursement program soon. Cal OES appreciates the State Auditor's time and attention to this matter, and we will continue to provide updates as we make progress toward full implementation.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) will fund phase II of the new mutual aid reimbursement program. However, due to the nature of the California Fire Assistance Agreement and the process of negotiations that support changes in administering the agreement, the negotiation process has taken a year to accomplish. We are currently anticipating all signatories approve the revised agreement. In light of not receiving all signatures to date, the implementation process of phase II is temporarily on hold until all terms of the agreement are finalized.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From December 2013

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is identifying funding for Phase II of the new mutual aid reimbursement program. The new program will include a web based platform that will allow local government fire agencies to access their respective salary surveys and invoices on-line. This will allow local government fire agencies to interact via the web based platform and view and complete their own respective pay documents in a timely manner, thus, expediting the reimbursement process. Furthermore, we are ensuring the procedures are in place to effectively and efficiently address the reimbursement timelines.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

According to Cal EMA it has completed and finalized the first phase of MARS. Since the implementation of MARS in July 2012, Cal EMA stated it has been transitioning from its previous system and has continued to use the previous system to avoid delays in its timely reimbursement process. Cal EMA also stated it is currently sampling fire incidents from the past fire season to test and validate MARS. Once the testing is complete, Cal EMA will begin utilizing MARS to process invoices for all incidents. Finally, Cal EMA stated it is exploring the second phase of MARS, which will include a Web-based platform that will allow local government fire agencies to access their respective salary surveys and invoices on line and to view and complete their own respective pay documents in a timely manner, thus, expediting the payment process.

  • Response Date: February 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented


6-Month Agency Response

Cal EMA stated that it is difficult to ensure that paying entities do not delay reimbursements for those emergencies or disasters that are not reimbursed under FEMA's Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) Program. Under the FMAG, states can submit a request for assistance to FEMA at the time a major disaster exists. Cal EMA stated that, because it administers the entire FMAG process, it is able to prioritize workload and expeditiously submit to FEMA the project worksheet that documents the scope of work and cost estimate for each project. However, Cal EMA stated that it has little or no control over reimbursements for FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) Program. Under the PA, states can submit a request for assistance so that they can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters and emergencies declared by the President. CAL EMA stated that, because it jointly administers the PA Program with FEMA, it is difficult to ensure the expeditious processing of project worksheets that require several layers of federal review and subsequent funding obligations. Further, to ensure that paying entities do not delay reimbursements for mutual aid provided under the California Fire Assistance Agreement (CFAA), Cal EMA is implementing a new Mutual Aid Reimbursement Program that focuses largely on migrating from a Lotus Notes application to a Web-based application. Cal EMA stated that this system will produce a stable platform and build in appropriate business rules to more effectively administer the CFAA terms and conditions and reduce reimbursement timelines. According to Cal EMA, the first phase of this new program was deployed in July 2012 and eliminated many workarounds and limitations found in the current system. (See 2013-406, pp. 71-72)

  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented


Recommendation #2 To: Emergency Management Agency

To ensure that it receives reimbursements on time, Cal EMA should identify ways to reduce the amount of time it takes to submit project worksheets to FEMA and to draw down funds.

6-Month Agency Response

Cal EMA incorporated language into its FMAG Program standard operating procedures that outlines the grant process, including the reimbursement process. Cal EMA stated that, because it jointly administers the PA Program with FEMA, it is difficult to ensure the expeditious processing of project worksheets that require several layers of federal review and subsequent funding obligations. (See 2013-406, p. 72)

  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #3 To: Emergency Management Agency

To ensure that it receives reimbursements on time, Cal EMA should establish procedures for submitting project worksheets to FEMA and drawing down funds that reflect the time-saving measures resulting from its efforts to implement recommendation 1.2.a.

6-Month Agency Response

Cal EMA incorporated language into its FMAG Program standard operating procedures that outlines the grant process, including the reimbursement process. Cal EMA stated that, because it jointly administers the PA Program with FEMA, it is difficult to ensure the expeditious processing of project worksheets that require several layers of federal review and subsequent funding obligations. (See 2013-406, p. 72)

  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #4 To: Emergency Management Agency

To make certain that local agencies calculate correctly their average actual hourly rates, Cal EMA should audit a sample of invoices each year and include in the review an analysis of the accuracy of the local agencies' average actual hourly rates reported in the agencies' salary surveys.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

Cal OES has completed four audit reports on local fire agencies salary surveys and provided the reports to the State Auditor. Cal OES will continue to include the salary survey audits in its annual plan and will complete them as our audit schedule permits.

  • Completion Date: October 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

Cal OES has completed four audit reports on local fire agencies salary surveys and provided them to the State Auditor. Cal OES will continue to include the salary survey audits in its annual plan and will complete them as our audit schedule permits.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

Cal OES has provided to the State Auditor copies of four audit reports completed on local fire agencies salary surveys. Cal OES will continue to audit a sample of local fire agencies salary surveys to comply with the audit recommendation.

  • Completion Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented

In October 2014, Cal OES stated that it had not started any new salary survey audits for 2014 because it had only two auditors. Cal OES also stated that the salary survey audits are included in its annual audit plan and will be completed as the audit schedule permits.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

The Fire and Rescue Division has coordinated with the Cal OES Audit Office to conduct audits of the local fire agencies salary survey to substantiate the average actual hourly rates. The audits began in 2013 and are on-going. To date, 4 local government fire agencies have been audited and an additional 20 will be audited in the coming months. Moreover, we hold annual committee meetings to discuss improving performance and outreach for all parties involved. This year we held 5 workshops statewide to instruct local fire agencies on how to develop accurate rates while understanding the methodologies behind them. We also hold individual meetings with local fire agencies to give them one on one instruction and support if need be.

We are currently in the process of setting up meetings to meet with the paying entities signatory to the agreement to discuss inaccurate rates reported by local fire agencies and future policies and contract language that will resolve how to proceed with this matter.

  • Completion Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented

Cal EMA did not provide copies of its audit reports for the four local government fire agencies.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

1-Year Agency Response

Cal EMA stated it is working with the Internal Audit office to conduct annual audits of the local agency's average actual hourly rates to ensure accuracy. Cal EMA also stated that, if it determines the local agencies' hourly rates are incorrect, it will advise them to recalculate the rates.

  • Response Date: February 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

Cal EMA did not specifically address this recommendation. Instead, Cal EMA stated it evaluated its options, along with its partner agencies, for ensuring the accuracy of and the accountability for the financial information that the local agencies submit. Cal EMA stated its options for ensuring financial integrity included better defined invoicing instructions, enhanced training of the partner agencies, and, if necessary, revisions to the statutes.Cal EMA, along with several key committee members signatory to the CFAA, provided workshops in June 2012 to instruct local agencies on how to correctly develop average actual hourly rates, salary surveys, and actual administrative rates. Cal EMA stated it also held a Web conference in July 2012 for those local agencies that were unable to attend the workshops because of budgetary constraints or other commitments. (See 2013-406, pp. 72-73)

  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


Recommendation #5 To: Emergency Management Agency

To make certain that local agencies calculate correctly their average actual hourly rates, if Cal EMA determines that the local agencies' rates are incorrect, it should advise the agencies to recalculate the rates reported in their salary survey. Local agencies that fail to submit accurate average actual hourly rates should be subject to the base rates.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

Cal OES has completed four audit reports on local fire agencies salary surveys and provided the reports to the State Auditor. Cal OES will continue to include the salary survey audits in its annual plan and will complete them as our audit schedule permits.

  • Completion Date: October 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

Cal OES has completed four audit reports on local fire agencies salary surveys and provided them to the State Auditor. Cal OES will continue to include the salary survey audits in its annual plan and will complete them as our audit schedule permits.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

Cal OES has provided to the State Auditor copies of four audit reports completed on local fire agencies salary surveys. Cal OES will continue to audit a sample of local fire agencies salary surveys to comply with the audit recommendation.

  • Completion Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented

This recommendation is contingent upon Cal OES conducting salary survey audits. In October 2014, Cal OES stated that it had not started any new salary survey audits for 2014 because it had only two auditors. Cal OES also stated that the salary survey audits are included in its annual audit plan and will be completed as the audit schedule permits.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

The Fire and Rescue Division has coordinated with the Cal OES Audit Office to conduct audits of the local fire agencies salary survey to substantiate the average actual hourly rates. The audits began in 2013 and are on-going. To date, 4 local government fire agencies have been audited and an additional 20 will be audited in the coming months. Moreover, we hold annual committee meetings to discuss improving performance and outreach for all parties involved. This year we held 5 workshops statewide to instruct local fire agencies on how to develop accurate rates while understanding the methodologies behind them. We also hold individual meetings with local fire agencies to give them one on one instruction and support if need be.

We are currently in the process of setting up meetings to meet with the paying entities signatory to the agreement to discuss inaccurate rates reported by local fire agencies and future policies and contract language that will resolve how to proceed with this matter.

  • Completion Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented

Cal EMA did not provide copies of its audit reports for the four local government fire agencies.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

1-Year Agency Response

Cal EMA stated it is working with the Internal Audit office to conduct annual audits of the local agency's average actual hourly rates to ensure accuracy. Cal EMA also stated that, if it determines the local agencies' hourly rates are incorrect, it will advise them to recalculate the rates.

  • Response Date: February 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

Cal EMA did not address this recommendation, which is contingent upon the results of its audit of a sample of the local agencies' invoices. (See 2013-406, p. 73)

  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


Recommendation #6 To: Emergency Management Agency

To make certain that local agencies calculate correctly their average actual hourly rates, if Cal EMA does not believe that it has the statutory authority and resources to audit the average actual hourly rates reported in the local agencies' salary surveys, it should either undertake the necessary steps to obtain both the authority and the necessary resources or obtain statutory authority to request that the State Controller's Office perform the audits.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

The Fire and Rescue Division has coordinated with the Cal OES Audit Office to conduct audits of the local fire agencies salary survey to substantiate the average actual hourly rates. The audits began in 2013 and are on-going. To date, 4 local government fire agencies have been audited and an additional 20 will be audited in the coming months. Moreover, we hold annual committee meetings to discuss improving performance and outreach for all parties involved. This year we held 5 workshops statewide to instruct local fire agencies on how to develop accurate rates while understanding the methodologies behind them. We also hold individual meetings with local fire agencies to give them one on one instruction and support if need be.

We are currently in the process of setting up meetings to meet with the paying entities signatory to the agreement to discuss inaccurate rates reported by local fire agencies and future policies and contract language that will resolve how to proceed with this matter.

  • Completion Date: August 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Resolved

Cal EMA is conducting audits of the local fire agencies' salary survey information.


1-Year Agency Response

Cal EMA stated it is working with the Internal Audit office to conduct annual audits of the local agency's average actual hourly rates to ensure accuracy. Cal EMA also stated that, if it determines the local agencies' hourly rates are incorrect, it will advise them to recalculate the rates.

  • Response Date: February 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

Cal EMA did not specifically address this recommendation. Instead, Cal EMA stated it evaluated its options, along with its partner agencies, for ensuring the accuracy of and the accountability for the financial information that the local agencies submit. Cal EMA stated its options for ensuring financial integrity included better defined invoicing instructions, enhanced training of the partner agencies, and, if necessary, revisions to the statutes. (See 2013-406, p. 73)

  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


Recommendation #7 To: Emergency Management Agency

If FEMA determines that the calculations and claims identified in the Office of Inspector General's audit report were erroneous, Cal EMA should modify the time sheets to track the actual hours that the responding agency works as well as the dates and times that the agency committed to the incident and returned from the incident.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

Cal OES revised the Applicants Briefing materials to reflect FEMA's Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (April 2017) revisions. Cal OES submits a compact disc (CD) that contains the most recent Major Declaration Applicants Briefing Materials/Handouts and the most recent Fire Management Assistance Grant Program Applicants Briefing Materials/Handouts. These documents are also available on Cal OES's website. Please review the links below.

Links:

Powerpoint for DR 4308: http://www.caloes.ca.gov/RecoverySite/Documents/4308%20CA%20Severe%20Winter%20Storms%20Flooding%20and%20Mudslides%20Presentation.pptm

Federal Disaster Assistance Information/Forms: http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/recovery/public-assistance/federal-disaster-assistance

Public Assistance Forms (cost accounting, FEMA information, etc.): http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/recovery/forms

FMAG Specific Information/Forms (cost accounting, applications, etc.): http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/recovery/public-assistance/fire-management-assistance-grant

Applicants Briefings: http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/recovery/public-assistance/applicants-briefings (note: documents for specific briefings are posted for a limited time)

  • Completion Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Resolved

At the time of our audit, FEMA's recovery policy permitted the reimbursement of personnel costs up to 24 hours for each of the first two days, but only up to 16 hours for each of the following days, in the emergency response period. However, CAL FIRE scheduled firefighting resources for a 24-hour response and requested reimbursements for 24-hour periods after the first two days of a response. This was the subject of the Office of Inspector General's audit report. However, FEMA's policy changed to allow reimbursement for 24-hour shifts for up to 14 days from the start of the incident period. CAL OES provided examples of its Applicant Briefing materials for recent emergency responses which reference FEMA's revised policy. Therefore, we believe this recommendation is resolved.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2016

FEMA issued a Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide in January 2016. This publication combines all Public Assistance policies in the 9500 series, superseding FEMA Policy 9525.7.

Cal OES will comply and revise our applicant briefing materials to reflect changes in the new guide. In addition, we will notify sub-recipients of these changes through the revised applicant briefing materials. Once revisions have been completed, we will forward supporting documentation reflecting these changes.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 31, 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2016

FEMA issued the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide in January 2016. This publication combines all Public Assistance policies in the 9500 series, superseding FEMA Policy 9525.7.

Cal OES is working to comply and revise our applicant briefing materials to reflect all the changes and updates in the new guide. In addition, we will notify sub-recipients of these changes through revised applicant briefing materials. These revisions will be completed by December 31, 2016, and we will forward the supporting documentation reflecting these changes.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 31, 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

To date, the FEMA Policy 9525.7 proposed changes are still under review and a definitive decision has yet to be made. As soon as we receive the final word on the proposed changes we will comply appropriately.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

To date, the FEMA Policy 9525.7 proposed changes are still under review and a definitive decision has yet to be made. As soon as we receive the final word on the proposed changes we will comply appropriately.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2013

We have been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on making a determination on whether the calculations and claims identified by the Office of Inspector General's (OIG) audit report were erroneous. As of this time, they have not provided us an official decision. In addition, we have been made aware that FEMA and the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) are reviewing the FEMA Labor Costs - Emergency Work Policy (Recovery Policy 9525.7) and will be revising the policy that addresses the reimbursement cost for employees performing emergency work, as well as the limitations on the 24-hour shift. As soon as a final decision is made or the policy approved we will comply appropriately.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown at this time

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

There was no change in the status of this recommendation since the 6-month response.

  • Response Date: February 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

On March 5, 2012, FEMA deobligated $5.7 million in funding related to hours claimed that were in excess of its recovery policy, which permits the reimbursement of personnel costs up to 24 hours for each of the first two days and up to 16 hours for each of the following days in the response period. However, Cal EMA did not specifically address whether or not it modified the time sheets to track the actual hours the responding agency works as well as the dates and times that the agency committed to the incident and returned from the incident. Instead, Cal EMA stated that it has worked with CAL FIRE to make the appropriate adjustments to CAL FIRE's accounting methodologies to ensure that the overtime costs CAL FIRE submits to it do not exceed FEMA's recovery policy. (See 2013-406, p. 73)

  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


Recommendation #8 To: Emergency Management Agency

If FEMA determines that the calculations and claims identified in the Office of Inspector General's audit report were erroneous, Cal EMA should ensure that the replacement for its current invoicing system can calculate the maximum number of reimbursable personnel hours under both FEMA's policy and the CFAA.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

Cal OES revised the Applicants Briefing materials to reflect FEMA's Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (April 2017) revisions. Cal OES submits a compact disc (CD) that contains the most recent Major Declaration Applicants Briefing Materials/Handouts and the most recent Fire Management Assistance Grant Program Applicants Briefing Materials/Handouts. These documents are also available on Cal OES's website. Please review the links below.

Links:

Powerpoint for DR 4308: http://www.caloes.ca.gov/RecoverySite/Documents/4308%20CA%20Severe%20Winter%20Storms%20Flooding%20and%20Mudslides%20Presentation.pptm

Federal Disaster Assistance Information/Forms: http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/recovery/public-assistance/federal-disaster-assistance

Public Assistance Forms (cost accounting, FEMA information, etc.): http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/recovery/forms

FMAG Specific Information/Forms (cost accounting, applications, etc.): http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/recovery/public-assistance/fire-management-assistance-grant

Applicants Briefings: http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/recovery/public-assistance/applicants-briefings (note: documents for specific briefings are posted for a limited time)

  • Completion Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Resolved

At the time of our audit, FEMA's recovery policy permitted the reimbursement of personnel costs up to 24 hours for each of the first two days, but only up to 16 hours for each of the following days, in the emergency response period. However, CAL FIRE scheduled firefighting resources for a 24-hour response and requested reimbursements for 24-hour periods after the first two days of a response. This was the subject of the Office of Inspector General's audit report. However, FEMA's policy changed to allow reimbursement for 24-hour shifts for up to 14 days from the start of the incident period. CAL OES provided examples of its Applicant Briefing materials for recent emergency responses which reference FEMA's revised policy. Therefore, we believe this recommendation is resolved.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2016

FEMA issued a Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide in January 2016. This publication combines all Public Assistance policies in the 9500 series, superseding FEMA Policy 9525.7.

Cal OES will comply and revise our applicant briefing materials to reflect changes in the new guide. In addition, we will notify sub-recipients of these changes through the revised applicant briefing materials. Once revisions have been completed, we will forward supporting documentation reflecting these changes.

The current invoicing system can calculate the maximum number of reimbursable personnel hours. The Mutual Aid Reimbursement Program does not apply to forced account labor and should not be included as part of this response.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 31, 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2016

Cal OES is working to comply and revise our applicant briefing materials to reflect all the changes and updates in the new guide. In addition, we will notify sub-recipients of these changes through the revised applicant briefing materials. These revisions will be completed by December 31, 2016, and we will forward the supporting documentation reflecting these changes.

The current invoicing system can calculate the maximum number of reimbursable personnel hours. The Mutual Aid Reimbursement Program does not apply to force account labor and should not be included as part of this response

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 31, 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2016

FEMA issued the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide in January 2016. This publication combines all Public Assistance policies in the 9500 series, superseding FEMA Policy 9525.7.

Cal OES is working to comply and revise our applicant briefing materials to reflect all the changes and updates in the new guide. In addition, we will notify sub-recipients of these changes through the revised applicant briefing materials. These revisions will be completed by December 31, 2016, and we will forward the supporting documentation reflecting these changes.

The current invoicing system can calculate the maximum number of reimbursable personnel hours. The Mutual Aid Reimbursement Program does not apply to force account labor and should not be included as part of this response.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 31, 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2015

To date, the FEMA Policy 9525.7 proposed changes are still under review and a definitive decision has yet to be made. As soon as we receive the final word on the proposed changes we will comply appropriately.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

To date, the FEMA Policy 9525.7 proposed changes are still under review and a definitive decision has yet to be made. As soon as we receive the final word on the proposed changes we will comply appropriately.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2013

We have been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on making a determination on whether the calculations and claims identified by the Office of Inspector General's (OIG) audit report were erroneous. As of this time, they have not provided us an official decision. In addition, we have been made aware that FEMA and the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) are reviewing the FEMA Labor Costs - Emergency Work Policy (Recovery Policy 9525.7) and will be revising the policy that addresses the reimbursement cost for employees performing emergency work, as well as the limitations on the 24-hour shift. As soon as a final decision is made or the policy approved we will comply appropriately.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown at this time

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

There was no change in the status of this recommendation since the 6-month response.

  • Response Date: February 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

Cal EMA did not specifically address whether or not its new Mutual Aid Reimbursement Program will be able to calculate the maximum number of reimbursable personnel hours under both FEMA's policy and the CFAA. (See 2013-406, p. 74)

  • Response Date: September 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


Recommendation #9 To: Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of

If FEMA determines that the calculations and claims identified in the Office of Inspector General's audit report were erroneous, CAL FIRE should revise its method of claiming reimbursement for personnel hours to comply with FEMA's policy.

6-Month Agency Response

On March 5, 2012, FEMA deobligated $5.7 million in funding related to hours claimed that were in excess of its recovery policy, which permits the reimbursement of personnel costs up to 24 hours for each of the first two days and up to 16 hours for each of the following days in the response period CAL FIRE stated that it revised its method of claiming reimbursement for personnel hours to comply with FEMA's policy. (See 2013-406, p. 74)

  • Response Date: October 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #10 To: Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of

If FEMA determines that the calculations and claims identified in the Office of Inspector General's audit report were erroneous, CAL FIRE should collaborate with Cal EMA to establish a system that calculates the maximum number of reimbursable personnel hours in accordance with both FEMA's policy and the CFAA.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has an ongoing relationship with the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) resulting in continued collaboration. Since the issuance of the California State Auditor Report, CAL FIRE in coordination with Cal EMA and based on communication with the Federal Emergency Management Agency regarding the maximum number of reimbursable personnel hours, has modified its system to determine calculations by adjusting its billing practices on Federal Declaration and Federal Management Assistant Grants to reflect the requirements of Recovery Policy 9525.7.

  • Completion Date: March 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

There was no change in the status of this recommendation since the 6-month response.

  • Response Date: February 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending


6-Month Agency Response

CAL FIRE stated that it continues to coordinate with Cal EMA and its federal mutual aid partners to ensure as much consistency as possible between the CFAA and the FEMA Disaster Assistance program. However, CAL FIRE did not specifically address its collaboration efforts with Cal EMA to establish a system that calculates the maximum number of reimbursable personnel hours in accordance with both FEMA's policy and the CFAA. (See 2013-406, p. 74)

  • Response Date: October 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2011-103

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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