The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

FEMA still "squandering tens of millions"

I certainly won't be the first person to observe that when a group of ideologues who think that government can do no right are put in charge of government, we aren't likely to see effective governance. Combine that with a hatred of programs that help the disadvantaged, and maybe this shouldn't come as a surprise.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has recouped less than 1 percent of the $1 billion that investigators contend it squandered on fraudulent assistance, according to the Government Accountability Office. Its report shows the disaster relief agency's struggles, one year after the deadly storm, to rush aid to those in need while also preventing abuse. (. . .)

In its latest report, the GAO found that numerous applicants received duplicate rental aid. In one case, FEMA provided free apartments to 10 people in Plano, Texas, while sending them $46,000 for out-of-pocket housing expenses. (. . .)

In addition, $20 million was wasted on thousands of people who claimed the same property damage from two hurricanes, Katrina and Rita. FEMA paid at least $3 million to more than 500 ineligible foreign students in the stricken Gulf Coast, the report said.