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Follow-Up Memo on Disaster Recovery Funds Administered by the Department of Public Safety (June 2019)


In May 2019, as directed by Session Law 2018-5, Section 5.6(n), the Program Evaluation Division issued a report entitled Administrative Missteps and Lack of Expertise Led to Delays and $3.7 Million in Unnecessary State Spending for Hurricane Matthew Recovery. At its May 20, 2019 meeting, the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee directed staff to conduct further research into Hurricane Matthew disaster recovery funds administered by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Together, the 2016 and 2017 Disaster Recovery Acts placed responsibility for administering five funding streams with DPS. PED’s report showed that the only source of funds administered by DPS that was not reliant on another governmental entity and did not have available timeliness data was “$9,000,000…to develop, implement, and fund disaster assistance programs to meet the emergency sheltering and short-term housing needs of individuals affected by Hurricane Matthew, the western wildfires, and Tropical Storms Julia and Hermine.” DPS selected local governments and not-for-profits to receive this emergency sheltering and short-term housing funding. PED's review identified one recipient, the North Carolina Community Development Initiative (the Initiative), whose disbursement raises concerns about DPS’s administration and oversight of state funds awarded for disaster recovery efforts. This concern merited a followup review into DPS’s administration and the Initiative’s implementation of these funds. This review led to the identification of several issues, involving alignment of the use of funds with the legislative directive, initial selection and distribution of funds to the Initiative, enforcement of provisions with the contractual agreement, and maximizing assistance to hurricane survivors.


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