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April 19, 2011

Modernized IT Systems Critical to FEMA's Disaster Response Mission

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report entitled "Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Faces Challenges in Modernizing Information Technology" (OIG-11-69):

"This report is one is a series of troubling reports surrounding FEMA's IT system. Today, the OIG releases findings indicating that FEMA's existing IT systems cannot support disaster response activities. The OIG found that the Chief Information Officer (CIO) has not created a strategic plan and does not have an accurate accounting of FEMA's many different programs and systems. Earlier this year, the OIG reported that FEMA's computer system crashed causing the loss of official post-disaster 'lessons learned' reports since Hurricane Katrina (OIG-11-32). In April 2010, the OIG reported that the failure to coordinate computer planning and purchases had lead to the execution of a contract for a $40 million information technology system which had not been properly designed and could not interact with other systems."

"Since 2003, FEMA has had several CIOs. These serious and repeated problems indicate that the function, responsibility and authority of the position of CIO at FEMA must be closely examined. I look forward to working with Administrator Fugate to resolve FEMA's IT problems. America must know that FEMA's employees and FEMA's computers are up, running, and ready to fully respond to any disaster."


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