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January 06, 2011

FEMA Recoupment Requires Careful Evaluation

(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) Management Advisory Report on the Recoupment of Improper Disaster Assistance Payments (OIG-11-21):

"In the last six years, residents of the Gulf Coast have been at the epicenter of the nation's most devastating disasters. As residents of this region strive to recover from the economic devastation and social dislocation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the recent oil spill, I expect FEMA to proceed with the utmost care as it re-evaluates the claims of over 160,000 hurricane survivors to determine recoupment of an estimated $643 million it may have improperly paid."

"Congress needs to see a transparent recoupment process that not only distinguishes between knowing fraud and unwitting mistake but also considers the economic circumstances of individuals. I look forward to reviewing FEMA's recoupment plan and working with the Administration to ensure the Gulf Coast continues to receive the resources it needs to make a full recovery."

REPORT

# # # FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Dena Graziano or Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978