Thursday, February 21, 2008

Enter the Fixers

20 Feb 2008 // The Federal Emergency Management Agency misspent millions of dollars it received from selling used travel trailers, government investigators have found.

Instead of buying more trailers — as allowed under the law — FEMA used more than $13 million toward fully loaded sport-utility vehicles, travel expenses and purchase card accounts, according to a draft report by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general obtained by The Associated Press. The report is to be released Friday.

During its three-month review last summer, the inspector general found that FEMA used some of the proceeds from trailer sales for tree-removal services, agency decals and banners and global positioning systems. FEMA spokesman James McIntyre said the agency discovered these problems on its own and has taken steps to fix them.

After Hurricane Katrina, FEMA purchased 200,000 travel trailers and mobile homes. When displaced hurricane victims leave these housing units, FEMA may sell the units to the general public. The law states that FEMA must use proceeds from these sales to buy more trailers or return the money to the U.S. Treasury.

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