FEMA Struggles to Meet Information Technology Standards, Report Finds

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) critical mission to prepare for and respond to emergencies depends on vital information technology systems. A new report on the agency’s IT infrastructure, released this week by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), found that FEMA has not taken sufficient steps to address gaps in its IT workforce. The report, entitled Information Technology: FEMA Needs to Address Management Weaknesses to Improve Its Systems, was jointly requested by Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairwoman Martha McSally (R-AZ), Chairman Dan Donovan (R-NY), Rep. Susan Brooks, Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), and Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI).

Chairman McCaul: “Congress recognizes the need for a strategic vision to guide long-term IT investment efforts at FEMA, and has directed the Department prioritize these needs back in 2006. The fact remains, FEMA is still struggling to meet the provisions of federal law enacted nearly ten years ago. The agency will need to spend millions to upgrade mission critical systems, but a lack of implemented policies does not provide much confidence for the future. The American people expect their government agencies to have the infrastructure in place to be fully prepared to respond to emergencies and safeguard the homeland. FEMA is falling short of that fundamental goal.”