ExpectMore.gov: FEMA performance adequate

Since the President has been touting ExpectMore.gov as proof of government transparency, Cox News went to the site and looked up FEMA. Seems the government rates the scandalously inadequate agency as "adequate."

Since the President has been touting ExpectMore.gov as proof of government transparency, Cox News went to the site and looked up FEMA. Seems the government rates the scandalously inadequate agency as "adequate." But there's an explanation.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency data on the ExpectMore.gov site, it turns out, is pre-Hurricane Katrina, completed in 2004 in the Office of Management and Budget’s most recent review of the agency.

The fact that the reports, in some cases, are based on dated data is not stopping the White House from urging taxpayers to punch it up on their computers.

Adequate is the lowest passing grade an agency can get. Presumably the point of having a ratings system is to identify agencies in need of fixing, and with FEMA rated performing, fixing it would have been low priority.

In any case, here's the full write-up on FEMA circa 2004:

  • The assessment found that the program has a clear purpose and addresses an existing need. FEMA's recovery programs are designed to avoid duplication of disaster assistance by sequencing the delivery of FEMA assistance with the assistance available from other sources, such as insurance or other federal agency programs.
  • The assessment found that, apart from implementation issues, the program design is somewhat flawed. The program may be used only in areas included in a Presidentially declared disaster. The program may also provide a disincentive for localities to budget for their own local disaster costs.
  • Funding levels for much of the program are not tied to performance. Instead, annual budget requests are generally based on average yearly disaster costs. At the time of the assessment, the program was achieving quarterly milestones and was on track to meet long-term goals.

Improvement Plan We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:
  • Developing baseline information on costs of delivering assistance to inform future performance measurement.
  • Collecting quarterly information on performance and using it to inform program management and improve performance.
  • Integrating the National Response Plan, which was released by DHS after this assessment was performed, into FEMA's Recovery program operations.