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June 27, 2012

FEMA Must Implement Delayed Personnel Management Systems

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on the Federal Emergency Management Administration's (FEMA) credentialing system for the qualification and certification of its workforce through experience, training, and demonstrated performance. The report, entitled "FEMA's Progress in Implementing Employee Credentials" (OIG-12-89) found that FEMA has not completed implementation of a credentialing system (FEMA Qualifications System or FQS) that was set-up in the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (PKEMRA).

The OIG also found that FEMA has not identified an information technology system to track the training, development, and deployment of disaster employees. It also found that FEMA does not have a detailed information technology plan, documented costs, projected schedule, and capability / performance requirements. The OIG was also not provided with budget and staffing costs for the program while FEMA is assessing future training and curriculum needs. The OIG recommended that FEMA implement a plan with defined metrics and timeframes, develop an information technology plan and consider off-the-shelf technology, and create a detailed budget and training development plan for the FQS.

Congressman Thompson released the following statement with the report:

"Unfortunately, this report shows that FEMA has been asleep at the switch and has yet to introduce necessary reforms – years after Hurricane Katrina exposed many of the problems with FEMA's personnel management. Given the massive wildfires and floods around the country lately, and the start of Hurricane season marked earlier this month, the need continues for federal disaster employees to be adequately trained and properly assigned."

Link to Report

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978