On April 1, 2016, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued the final policy, Stafford Act Section 705, Disaster Grant Closeout Procedures. This policy provides clarity to FEMA’s requirements under Section 705 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, and establishes guidelines to determine whether Section 705 prohibits FEMA from recovering payments made under the Public Assistance program.
The finalization of this policy follows a Federal Register public comment period where FEMA received over 30 comments from a range of intergovernmental stakeholders. FEMA worked diligently to incorporate those comments, and the resulting policy lays a clear path forward for FEMA and state, local, and tribal governments, on any potential de-obligation of Public Assistance funding.
The new policy applies to all potential recovery of payments made to state, tribal, territorial, or local government recipients and sub-recipients for all Public Assistance funding (section 705 does not apply to private-non-profit sub-recipients). This new policy does not apply to matters where appeal or arbitration rights are exhausted and FEMA has made a final administrative decision. The new policy will ensure consistent application of FEMA’s Public Assistance de-obligation requirements and limitations under the law.
The final policy can be accessed at Regulations.gov at the following link https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FEMA-2015-0020-0036 .