The Federal Emergency Management Agency has taken steps to improve its management of state, local, and tribal preparedness grants, but challenges remain, the Government Accountability Office told Congress today. “GAO reported in March 2011 on the need for FEMA to improve its oversight of preparedness grants by establishing a framework with measurable performance objectives for assessing urban area, state, territory, and tribal capabilities to identify gaps and prioritize investments.
Specifically, GAO recommended that FEMA complete a national preparedness assessment of capability gaps at each level based on tiered, capability-specific performance objectives to enable prioritization of grant funding. FEMA has taken some steps to address GAO’s prior recommendation,” Chris Currie, GAO’s director-Homeland Security and Justice Team, said in prepared testimony today for a field hearing in New York of the House Homeland Security Committee’s emergency preparedness, response, and communications subcommittee. “Specifically, in February 2018, FEMA reported developing capability-specific performance objectives that will enable a national preparedness assessment of capability gaps. However, FEMA plans to finalize these efforts in 2020 and it is too early to tell how this will impact grant allocations. Until these efforts are completed, GAO will not be able to determine the extent that they address past challenges and recommendations.”